Insulate Britain protesters dragged off M25 junction by angry drivers and police

·3-min read

Watch: Insulate Britain protesters dragged off M25 junction by angry drivers and police

Angry motorists and police dragged Insulate Britain protesters off an M25 junction as the group blocked roads for the 13th time.

The clashes between drivers and protesters ensued after demonstrators blocked the junction to St Clements Way and London Road in Thurrock on Wednesday morning.

Police later arrived and removed more protesters from the roads. Essex Police said 35 people had been arrested.

Several Insulate Britain members had glued themselves to the road, causing long queues of vehicles.

Some members of the group were dragged off the road multiple times by drivers, who pulled their backpacks and clothing, before the demonstrators immediately returned to their spots to sit down again.

Lorry drivers blasted their horns and some motorists ripped banners out of the hands of the demonstrators as they stayed sitting or lying in the road.

Meanwhile, a female protester was almost run over after stopping in front of a blue Hyundai car, and was berated by the driver who told her: "This is stupidity."

Footage also circulated online showing a mother getting out of her black Range Rover and arguing with those gathered around her car.

"Move out of the f****** way, my son needs to get to school," she told demonstrators.

"I don't care what the f****** issue is. My son is 11 and he needs to get to school today, so move out of the way and let me get him to school."

Responding to the incident, Essex Police said: "Officers were at the scene within five minutes and are currently working to resolve the situation quickly and safely. Arrests have been made."

HGV drivers also warned that the protests could cause the ongoing fuel crisis to worsen as tankers will be unable to reach filling stations.

One driver told LBC news: "If this protest stays here for much longer, I'm afraid the night shift driver will not be able to deliver fuel for any garages or anyone.

"So talking about lorry driver shortages and fuel shortages, today it may get worse. This is a hotspot.

"We also deliver to commercials, bus garages, train depots, which are all essential for transport."

Delivery driver Robert J Foulger, 57, said: "There were nine police vehicles there and countless officers not out catching criminals, costing the taxpayer money.

"I took pictures whilst sitting in traffic trying to deliver fresh produce to a supermarket distribution centre. I was on the moving side of traffic so didn't wait long, luckily."

Watch: Arrests made at Insulate Britain protest in Essex

The High Court has granted National Highways several injunctions against protesters blocking sections of the M25 as well as other major transport routes in recent weeks.

The injunctions mean anyone breaching the order could face a prison sentence, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said.

But despite this, the group returned to the M25 on Wednesday to demand that the government insulate homes in the UK ahead of winter, starting with the poorest.

Dr Diana Warner, an Insulate Britain supporter, said: "Many people are going out of their way to thank us. Some come out of their cars to thank us, some are police officers involved with our arrests. To them, we bring hope - we haven't yet given up. We are still pushing for life saving changes.

"It is a big step to move from thanking us to taking action. But if you make some move to help us, however small, you will be helping us to achieve change."

The group said on Wednesday that the action is coinciding with the release of a report by the charity Shelter, which found the health of 22% of renters in England - or 1.9 million households - is being harmed by poor housing.

The report said people are living in homes "that make them sick because they are mouldy, cold, unaffordable and grossly insecure".

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