Insulate Britain activists face arrest if they don't leave Lambeth Bridge protest, police say

Met Police issue a notice under the Public Order Act to 40 people blocking the bridge in central London

Published

Police have imposed conditions on a protest on Lambeth Bridge and have urged the remaining protesters to leave.

A notice under the Public Order Act, posted on Twitter by the Metropolitan Police, said 40 people were still blocking the bridge in central London, with four of them having glued themselves together.

The notice said the group have “no identified organiser” and “warm clothing, food, seats” and if they fail to leave, could face arrest.

Insulate Britain climate activists take part in a demonstration on Vauxhall Bridge in central London. Picture date: Saturday November 20, 2021.
Insulate Britain climate activists take part in a demonstration on Vauxhall Bridge in central London. Picture date: Saturday November 20, 2021.

A Met Police tweet said: “We have put conditions under the Public Order Act for a protest at Lambeth Bridge and request all protestors leave the bridge. Officers are also dealing with an off-shoot protest at #Vauxhall Cross.”

Climate activists have blocked a major bridge in central London during a march in support of nine jailed Insulate Britain campaigners.

In full view of a heavy uniformed police presence, up to 250 people who had marched from London’s Royal Courts of Justice took part sit-down demonstration, blocking off Lambeth Bridge.

Uniformed officers stood at the scene as traffic was diverted, with the Metropolitan Police saying this was “for the safety of all”.

The demonstrators made speeches, sang songs, ate lunch and chanted slogans.

Scotland Yard said there had been no arrests by 4pm, when a large number of protesters moved off the bridge.

Cheers had broken out earlier as campaigners told the crowd that the nine jailed Insulate Britain climate activists are “political prisoners” and will not be the last to be locked up.

The nine protesters were jailed this week for breaching an injunction designed to prevent the road blockades which have sparked anger among motorists and others affected by the protests.

Extinction Rebellion later said Saturday’s sit-down protest was to break the injunction granted to National Highways, in solidarity with the at least 34 people who have broken these injunctions so far, including those who were jailed this week.

Gabriella Ditton, 27, an animator from Norwich, Norfolk, was among those who took part in the Saturday’s demonstration. She said she has been arrested six times with Insulate Britain, including once for breaking the injunction.

She said: “I expect to go to prison at some point for at least six months because I am not going to be apologetic about this.

“I have known for a couple of years that the only thing that is going to serve us is civil resistance. I have faith in people coming together.

“Solutions to this crisis exist, we just need the political will to do it.”

Zoe Cohen, 51, said she had travelled from her home in Warrington, Cheshire, to take part in the demonstration, because she is “angry, distraught and grieving for the hug3e amount of nature that we have already lost”.

She said that “ordinary people should not have to do this and risk prison” and added that “any disruption is microscopic to the suffering of millions of people who are dying now across the world due to this crisis”.

Insulate Britain began a wave of protests in September and supporters have blocked the M25, roads in London including around Parliament, roads in Birmingham and Manchester and around the Port of Dover in Kent.