Chiara Sarti was arrested after an action at King's College, but only imprisoned this weekFelix Armstrong for Varsity

A Cambridge student imprisoned for taking part in a climate protest has called for the Vice-Chancellor to join her in prison.

Chiara Sarti, who was previously arrested for spraying orange paint on King’s College, was remanded to prison after slow marching for Just Stop Oil (JSO) in London.

Sarti, 24, a PhD student from the University of Cambridge, was denied bail after being charged with a breach of the Public Order Act 2023, Section Seven, which relates to interfering with the use or operation of any key national infrastructure.

Sarti has criticised the University’s climate inaction, labelling Cambridge “utterly pathetic if not outright criminal”.

“This could end tomorrow if the Vice-Chancellor and staff upheld their duty of care and went to prison with me,” she said.

Following her arrest for spraying King’s College with orange paint, Chiara was banned from entering London as bound by the M25.

She told Varsity: “My ‘crime’ is walking peacefully down a road on a few occasions. We have to ask ourselves… What is the government so afraid of that they feel they need to lock people up for marching on a road for a few minutes?”

“Students have been handed an impossible situation. We need to choose between life and liberty. If we choose to have a quiet life, like our parents did, the next thousand generations will piss on our graves because we pissed on theirs,” she continued.

Sarti described her conditions in prison: “They’re appalling, the cells are filthy, people put newspapers under the doors to prevent cockroaches from getting in. It’s a total admin hell. I’m in an induction wing so I only get 30 mins of exercise outside every day.”

She also described feeling unsafe: “People are having mental health episodes all the time. Being trans in prison puts you at constant risk of sexual assault. Sometimes I get a shower, sometimes I don’t, and being in a men’s prison is a real challenge.”


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Describing the impact on her mental health, Chiara said: “Being in a box is obviously not good for anyone’s mental health, but what destroys mental health is the total apathy and inaction around me about the climate crisis on the outside.”

When asked in court why she was in London, Chiara responded, “I am an ordinary person who has to take desperate action in these circumstances. I have a moral responsibility to be in civil resistance. I have a democratic right to protest. The laws I am being charged under – were written by an oil company – this is disgusting. The government should be in this dock, not me.”

The judge remanded Chiara to prison saying, “This court previously released you on bail – but clearly within 2 weeks you were within London. You have said to me today you have a moral responsibility to break laws in this country. I think you will break bail if released today.”

Chiara will next appear in Southwark Crown Court on 30th November to enter a plea. At least 5 further young people, aged 18 to 22, are currently being held on remand in prison according to JSO, after being denied bail for slow marching.