The imprisonment of fracking protesters shows how far this country has retreated from democratic freedoms.
The right to peaceful protest is one of the liberties people have struggled for centuries to win.
We are supposed to be a democracy that accommodates dissenting voices.
It is unacceptable that these rights are being taken away from us in order to support a dirty industry that, if it is allowed to go ahead, will cause untold damage to our health and countryside and exacerbate climate change.
The sentencing is clearly intended as a deterrent to further peaceful protest, but it will achieve the opposite, as so many people will see how far our minority government is prepared to go with authoritarian methods in support of an industry that is unwanted by the majority of people who would be forced to live with it.