She told the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday that she could not afford to pay the costs of the prosecution as she had been working as a volunteer in wildlife conservation and climate activism.
She told National Highways’ legal team they were “claiming more for postage than I have earned in the last three years” and asked them to sell her clothes as “that’s all I have”.
Round-the-world adventures on hold
Before becoming involved in XR, Smart and her partner, who describe themselves as “valiant adventurers whose dream is to circumnavigate the planet”, drove across Europe, the Western Sahara and central and south-east Asia.
Their travels between 2012 and 2016 included trips to Spain, Italy, Mongolia, Russia, Morocco, Uzbekistan, Iran, India, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.
They returned to the UK in order to get jobs and earn money, Smart said, and two and a half years after they had returned they had saved enough to ship their Toyota Hilux to South America and begin what they described as “phase 4” of their travels.
But in their latest blog post on the website detailing their travels, the former biologist said that they decided to put their plans on hold because they were filled with the “love and rage” that she says inspires the XR protests.