More than 50 climate activists have been arrested after Insulate Britain resumed its protests on Monday, blocking three locations across London and bringing the capital’s financial district to a standstill.
Liverpool Street, Upper Thames Street and Limehouse Cause were among locations that were blocked by climate change activists as police attempt to remove protestors.
The Metropolitan Police said 53 people were arrested at protest sites in Bishopsgate, Upper Thames Street, Limehouse Street and Southwark Bridge.
Protesters took to the streets of the City of London and Canary Wharf at around 8am on Monday, disrupting rush-hour traffic.
City of London Police alongside the Metropolitan Police attended the locations to negotiate with activists, some of who had glued themselves to roads, creating more difficulty in attempting to remove them.
— Milo Boyd (@MirrorMilo) October 25, 2021
Videos circulating online have shown people shouting at the activists while others attempted to physically move them to allow cars to pass through.
In one of the disruptions this morning, a man was filmed telling protesters he hoped their family members got cancer.
In the footage, the man can be heard telling the group that his father is going through cancer treatment and he hoped if anyone got the disease, it would be family members of the protesters so they “know what it’s like”.
“You can sit here, I hope you know what it’s like. My father needs treatment and you sit here doing this. Scum. I hope if anyone gets cancer, I hope it’s your parents... are they alive, are your parents alive?”
Insulate Britain head, Liam Norton said the group understands the public’s frustration.
“They should know that one way or another this country will have to stop emitting carbon. We can do that now in an orderly, planned way, insulating homes and preventing thousands of deaths from fuel poverty or we can wait until millions have lost their homes and are fighting for water or starving to death,” Mr Norton said in a statement this morning.
A total of 52 people have been arrested following a number of protests across London and the City of London this morning.
We responded alongside @CityPolice to events on Bishopsgate, Upper Thames Street, Limehouse and on Southwark Bridge.
Those arrested are en route to custody.
— Metropolitan Police Events (@MetPoliceEvents) October 25, 2021
He added: “This treasonous government has betrayed the public. It is actively following a path that will lead to the death of millions – that’s genocide. If you know this and are not joining non-violent civil resistance then you are complicit. We can’t be bystanders. Short term disruption or genocide – that’s your choice.”
The latest protests come after a 10-day break from the group following weeks of protests in various busy roads and motorways across London and Kent.
The group has also not been deterred by court injunctions requested by transport secretary Grant Shapps that would prosecute any protestors blocking the M25.
Insulate Britain spokeswoman, Tracey Mallaghan, said she is “gutted” that the group has returned to the roads to “irritate people”, but said the public should question why the government isn’t taking “necessary action” to defend the country against the climate crisis.
“I understand, more than most, that money is tight and many people are struggling and stressed beyond belief. It's hard to see the bigger picture when you are anxious about putting food on the table but stop and think for a moment,” Ms Mallaghan said.
Grant Shapps announced on Friday that the first group of Insulate Britain protestors were being taken to court for blocking the M25.
We’re taking the 1st group of activists from Insulate Britain to court for dangerous & self-defeating action along the M25. They now face potential prison time. @NationalHways will work with police to bring more of these activists to justice & prevent further reckless action.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) October 22, 2021
“We’re taking the 1st group of activists from Insulate Britain to court for dangerous & self-defeating action along the M25. They now face potential prison time,” he wrote in a tweet.