He has now lost his liberty and his family are facing Christmas without him.
A appeal has been launched to help Jan Goodey, the recently imprisoned university lecturer and contributor to the The Ecologist, with his legal fees and living costs during the current recession.
The 57-year-old climate activist will spend Christmas Day in a prison cell for disrupting traffic on the M25 as part of a Just Stop Oil (JSO) campaign earlier last month. Supporters have set up the appeal at the JustGiving website.
Jan was convicted after bringing traffic to a standstill by climbing a gantry at junction 16. This was part of a wave of JSO action to pressure politicians to scrap all new oil and gas contracts in order to mitigate climate impact.
Campaigners see Jan's imprisonment as part of a major erosion of civil liberties. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act, which was passed in parliament in April this year, is viewed by activists as a major assault on the right to protest.
The new act allows police to place conditions on public processions, public assemblies, and one-person protests where it is reasonably believed that the noise generated may result it “serious disruption to the activities of an organisation".
JSO reported that the magistrate court spoke of wanting to use Jan's sentence as a deterrent against further disruption of people going about their "lawful business".
“Jan took this drastic action to raise public awareness of the climate crisis. He has now lost his liberty and his family are facing Christmas without him.
Claire Brooke, who set up the JustGiving appeal, said: "Please show your support and solidarity for Jan and his family at this really difficult time."
The fundraiser has already received public support, having raised £1,700 towards the £2,500 target. Campaigners have set up the appeal on the JustGiving website.
Yasmin Dahnoun is assistant editor at The Ecologist.