Eco-hypocrite arrested for confronting Sir David Attenborough in Michelin-starred fish restaurant is Insulate Britain activist who once drove 18-year-old gas-guzzling 4×4 on 81,000-mile jaunt across 50 countries
- Emma Smart, Animal Rebellion, was arrested for confronting Sir David yesterday
- She tried to deliver him a letter and have a conversation about climate change
- Smart was previously sentenced for protesting on the M25 with Insulate Britain
- Marine biologist also went on hunger and thirst strike in April following a protest
- But she previously came under fire for driving 81,000 miles in a gas-guzzling 4×4
A protester who was arrested for confronting Sir David Attenborough as he ate in a Michelin starred fish restaurant is an Insulate Britain activist who drove an 18-year-old 4×4 on an 81,000-mile journey across 50 countries.
Activist and marine biologist Emma Smart, 45, approached Sir David at the Catch at the Old Fish Market in Dorset yesterday to try to deliver him a letter and have a chat about ‘telling the truth’ about climate change.
She was also given a four-month sentence for Insulate Britain’s M25 stunt in October 2021 and went on hunger strike in April following a protest with 24 fellow scientists at the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
But she previously came under fire when it was revealed she and her husband Andy drove 80,975 miles visiting 50 countries in 858 days in an 18-year-old Toyota from 2012 to 2016.
Activist Emma Smart previously came under fire when it was revealed she and her husband Andy drove 80,975 miles visiting 50 countries in 858 days in an 18-year-old Toyota from 2012 to 2016 (Pictured: Smart and her husband Andy discussing their trip on the BBC)
She was also given a four-month sentence for Insulate Britain’s M25 stunt in October 2021 (Pictured: Smart appearing at the High Court for sentencing in November 2021)
Marine biologist Smart, 45, approached Sir David at the Catch at the Old Fish Market in Dorset yesterday and was dragged out and arrested
Smart went on hunger strike in April following a protest with 24 fellow scientists at the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Smart previously justified her 81,000 mile trip by saying she and her partner would produce ’62 per cent less CO2 per day’ travelling compared with living in their shared house of four back in the UK.
The couple broke their global trip into four phases and regularly blogged about their travels inside their 4×4.
The first leg of their trip saw them travel to France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine and Poland.
This was followed by visits to Portugal, Morocco, Western Sahara, Spain and Andorra.
Ahead of the trip Smart told the BBC that it had taken ’18 months of planning and saving’ and ‘working extremely hard’ for it to go ahead.
But she came under fire on social media for what some saw as ‘hypocrisy’.
One person tweeted: ‘This is one of the #InsulateBritain protestors Emma Smart who felt “compelled” to stop traffic on the M25 this morning…hypocrisy at its very finest! 81k miles the trip!’
Sir David, 96, had spent Thursday in Weymouth to film a TV documentary about fishing and went to the nearby restaurant in the evening.
Smart, who protested on behalf of Animal Rebellion, said: ‘We don’t need another documentary series showing us that we are losing, some 150 species going extinct globally every single day. What we need is action.’
Dorset Police said Smart, from Weymouth, was arrested on Thursday evening after allegedly causing a disturbance and refusing to comply with officers after they asked her to leave the restaurant.
She was charged with failing to comply with a Section 35 direction and will appear at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court on December 21.
Sharp was also handed a four-month sentence for taking part in an Insulate Britain protest on the M25 on October 8, 2021.
Sharp was also handed a four-month sentence for taking part in an Insulate Britain protest on the M25 on October 8, 2021
Pictured: Smart and other Insulate Britian protesters block a roundabout at a junction on the M25 in 2021
During her time in HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Surrey, she was moved to the hospital wing after undertaking the hunger strike over her sentence. She was released in January.
She also went on hunger and thirst strike in April following a protest with 24 fellow scientists at the BEIS building in Westminster.
They pasted poster-sized pages from climate science papers on to the building, with Smart and some others gluing their hands to the window and using spray chalk to mark it with extinction symbols.
Smart was held in custody for 48 hours in a basic, windowless cell and refused bail because she had a record of breaking bail conditions.
During her time in HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Surrey, she was moved to the hospital wing after undertaking the hunger strike over her sentence. She was released in January
At the time, her husband said: ‘What kind of world do we live in when scientists are forced to put themselves into positions of arrest and hunger strike to be heard? And why has she not been released? This was a minor crime with no disruption to the public. Her treatment is disproportionate to her crime.’
Smart’s letter to Sir David read: ‘Dear David, I still want to meet you!
‘I’m from Weymouth – my community will be devastated in the climate crisis.
‘Today is the one year anniversary that I went to prison for peacefully protesting government inaction.
‘There are 35 ordinary people in prison right now for environmental protest. Please speak up for them. For all life on earth.
‘I’m a scientist. A biologist. Please meet with me – just five min.’
She also went on hunger and thirst strike in April following a protest with 24 fellow scientists at the BEIS bulding in Westminster
Smart previously got in touch with Sir David through Twitter and by sending a letter while in prison
In a statement later released by Smart through Animal Rebellion, she said she targeted the restaurant as its ‘expensive menu was a symbol of excess and inequality.’
Ms Smart said: ‘The Catch is a symbol of excess and inequality in today’s world, Weymouth has average wages amongst the lowest in the UK and is at huge risk of sea level rises.
‘Yet this restaurant still continues business as usual amongst the worst cost-of-living crisis many will ever experience.
‘Sir David is in a unique position to tell the truth about the biodiversity crisis.
‘He has the chance to leave a legacy of love, care, and of being the forerunner of a better world.’
Ms Smart has previously tried to get in touch with Sir David about the climate crisis – and received a response – when she sent him a letter from prison.
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