Husband of Insulate Britain hunger striker ‘terrified’ but supports her decision

·3-min read
Andy Smith pictured with his wife Emma Smart (Andy Smith/PA) (PA)
Andy Smith pictured with his wife Emma Smart (Andy Smith/PA) (PA)

The husband of an Insulate Britain protester who has gone on hunger strike in prison says he is “terrified” for her but supports her choice.

Andy Smith, 45, said he and his wife Emma Smart a scientist, discussed her stopping eating if she was jailed by the High Court for breaching an injunction.

Smart, 44, was handed a four-month sentence on Wednesday alongside Ben Buse, 36, Roman Paluch-Machnik, 28, Oliver Rock, 41, Tim Speers, 36, and James Thomas, 47, for taking part in a blockade on the M25 on October 8, while Ana Heyatawin, 58, and Louis McKechnie, 20, were jailed for three months.

Ben Taylor, 37, was given a longer sentence of six months “to deter (him) from committing further breaches” following submissions he made to the court.

Mr Smith, who volunteers as a climate activist full time but has not taken part in any protests with Insulate Britain told the PA news agency: “She is incredibly resolute in her actions.

“I stand by her in all the decisions she makes. Morally they are in the right in this instance and she really stands by her convictions.

“She’s an incredibly passionate person who has spent her whole entire adult life trying to save wildlife and protect the environment. That’s deeply ingrained in who she is.

“That freedom to go out on to the street and protest has been taken away from her, so her going on a hunger strike in prison is another way to continue that process.

“All nine of them in court today were pretty resolute that you can sentence them, but this isn’t going to resolve the problem and people will still continue to protest.

“Obviously I’m terrified. It’s a horrible thing for her to go through but I stand by her decision to do that.”

Mr Smith said he was aware that Smart would be going on a hunger strike if she was put behind bars.

Mr Smith has said he supports his wife in the decision she has made. (Andy Smith/PA) (PA)
Mr Smith has said he supports his wife in the decision she has made. (Andy Smith/PA) (PA)

“It’s something we discuss quite frequently, the different ways we can make sacrifices to highlight injustices,” he said.

“I’m aware that she had previously talked to other people who’ve already done hunger strikes and been on hunger strikes. She’s a scientist, she’s done her research.”

He added that the sentences were less than the supporters of the group were expecting so they were “relieved”, but still felt it was a “complete injustice”.

“I completely stand with them on what they’ve done and how they’ve acted,” he said.

“I would obviously rather the judge side with them but they did break the law and then they were willing to face the consequences of breaking the law.”

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