Emotional clash with motorists as Insulate Britain block four roads in London

·3-min read
Police officers detain a protester from Insulate Britain occupying a roundabout leading from the M25 motorway to Heathrow Airport in London (PA) (PA Wire)
Police officers detain a protester from Insulate Britain occupying a roundabout leading from the M25 motorway to Heathrow Airport in London (PA) (PA Wire)

Insulate Britain protesters have clashed with motorists including a woman desperate to see her mother in hospital as the group staged another demonstration in London

The group said around 50 people had blocked four sites around the capital on Monday morning during the fourth week of its campaign to urge the Government to insulate 29 million homes by 2030.

This included Blackwall Tunnel in east London, where LBC captured the moment a woman stuck in the traffic tearfully clashed with protesters as they blocked her journey to see her mother, who she said was in hospital.

Amid blaring horns from dozens of other angry motorists, she told them: “She’s in the ambulance, she’s going to the hospital in Canterbury, do you think I’m stupid?

“I need to go to the hospital, please let me pass. This isn’t OK … How can you be so selfish?”

Protesters wearing high-vis jackets appeared to be speaking quietly with the woman but showed no sign of letting her through.

The activists at Blackwall Tunnel had sat on the northbound A102 at rush hour, as well as at three other major routes in the capital.

Wandsworth Bridge in south London, Hanger Lane and Arnos Grove were also targeted.

Furious motorists at Wandsworth Bridge have been dragging protesters out of the road where they appeared to be blocking an ambulance, in a video shared by TalkRadio.

One driver can be heard saying: “There’s an ambulance, you stupid p****, get out of the road”, as activists are picked off the ground and dragged away.

A father also told the PA news agency he was worried his 15-year-old autistic daughter, who suffers with stress-related epilepsy, could have a seizure brought on by the fear of missing school after she was stuck in the traffic for 45 minutes.

The man, who wanted to be identified only as Will, said: “School have rang and said she’s quite upset and stressed because she was late.

“The driver kept her as calm as he could but the beeping and shouting didn’t help because of her sensory problems and she didn’t have her ear defenders.

“If she does carry on stressing out at school today it will bring on a seizure. These protesters don’t realise the consequences of their actions at all and who it affects.”

By late morning the Metropolitan Police said 38 people had been arrested for disruption of the highway and conspiracy to cause public nuisance.

An entry on the force’s @MetPoliceEvents Twitter account said: “We consider protests of this nature unreasonable and are acting as quickly as possible to minimise disruption caused to members of the public using the roads.”

It is the latest in a string of protests from the group, which has previously targeted the M25, M4 and Port of Dover.

This comes after the Government took out a fresh injunction last week banning protesters from Insulate Britain from obstructing traffic and access to motorways and major A Roads in and around London.

Anyone who breaks the injunction faces imprisonment or an unlimited fine, and activists found in contempt of court may also be forced to repay the costs of their case.

Insulate Britain has pledged to continue its action until the Government makes “a meaningful statement indicating that they will insulate all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030”.

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