Insulate Britain activists tell High Court injunction is form of ‘bullying’

An interim injunction bans the eco-group from obstructing traffic and prevents access to 4,300 miles of motorways and major A-roads.

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Imposing another injunction against Insulate Britain activists is a form of “bullying”, a member of the campaign group has told the High Court.

An interim injunction, secured by National Highways on Monday, bans the group, which has demonstrated since September 13, from obstructing traffic and prevents access to 4,300 miles of motorways and major A-roads.

It also prohibits them from gluing themselves to the road, damaging the road surface and abandoning their vehicles, with the potential punishment being imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

In a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Thursday, Mr Justice Lavender adjourned a decision on whether to grant a continuation to the injunction, after Insulate Britain activists argued they were not given enough time to gain legal representation.

Protesters from Insulate Britain blocking a road near Canary Wharf in east London.
Protesters from Insulate Britain blocking a road near Canary Wharf in east London.

Dr Diana Warner, a member of the group, told the court: “We are talking about an existential emergency, not about people being late to their jobs or losing a bit of money – we need to change what we’re doing for everybody’s future.

“This is an example of bullying, no other groups are being singled out for doing worse, it’s bullying and I hope this court doesn’t sanction it.”

Police removing Insulate Britain protesters after they blocked a road near Canary Wharf in east London. Climate group Insulate Britain had pledged to restart its road-blocking protests despite the risk of its members being jailed or fined.
Police removing Insulate Britain protesters after they blocked a road near Canary Wharf in east London. Climate group Insulate Britain had pledged to restart its road-blocking protests despite the risk of its members being jailed or fined.

Activist Liam Norton argued that more time should have been given to the group ahead of the hearing for activists to gain legal representation.

Another member of the group declared: “This is unfair, it is bullying and a questionable politicisation of the legal system.”

Mr Justice Lavender told the court: “What I’m minded to do is adjourn my consideration to a later date to give the defendants a bit more time to gain legal representation.”

It means the order remains in place until a hearing on November 11.

Members of Insulate Britain have also been made subject to three other injunctions granted to National Highways, banning demonstrations on the M25, around the Port of Dover and on major roads around London.

Tracey Mallaghan, an Insulate Britain spokeswoman, told the PA news agency: “I wish they would stop messing around with our law, we’ve already been in prison, that’s what they wanted – there’s no need for this, they really should be getting on with insulating our homes.

“We won’t give up, you can’t put an injunction on physics, you can’t put an injunction on love, so I just think it’s showing their lack of character.

“It’s time for our courts to stop playing this game – they need to protect the people.

“We’re going to continue our protests no matter what, our courts need to stop pandering to politicians’ games and face reality.”