Insulate Britain: M25 blocked for seventh time as court injunction defied

Police officers detain a protester from Insulate Britain occupying a roundabout leading from the M25 motorway to Heathrow Airport in London. Picture date: Monday September 27, 2021.
Police officers detain a protester from Insulate Britain occupying a roundabout leading from the M25 motorway to Heathrow Airport in London. Picture date: Monday September 27, 2021.

Activists, who have blocked the M25 seven times in just over two weeks, continued their campaign despite a High Court injunction

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Kent Police said: “The incident on the Swanley Interchange roundabout began at around 7.30am on Wednesday 29 September 2021, with those in attendance having glued their hands to the road surface.

“Officers attended and within an hour had arrested those present on suspicion of obstructing the highway, conspiracy to commit public nuisance and criminal damage.

“The roundabout remained closed until around 8.50am to enable National Highways to make the road surface safe.”

The group, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, is calling on the Government to insulate all homes across the UK by 2030 to help cut carbon emissions. Police are advising people to expect delays and to seek alternative routes if possible.

As well as targeting the London ring road, protesters have blocked other important routes including the A1(M) and A20 near the port of Dover.

The campaign, which entered its third week on Monday, has seen well over 300 arrests.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said: “Offences committed at a protest are often summary only and if the police have sufficient evidence they can charge those themselves.

“We have told police forces that we are ready to give early advice if they come to us.

“When the CPS does get involved we will not hesitate to charge protesters, as we have done in the past, if our legal test is met.”

In an open letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, Insulate Britain vowed to continue its campaign in the face of arrests and injunctions.

It said: “We are more fearful of the loss of our country than we are of you. You can throw as many injunctions at us as you like, but we are going nowhere. You can raid our savings. You can confiscate our property. You can deny us our liberty and put us behind bars."

“But shooting the messenger can never destroy the message: that this country is going to hell unless you take emergency action to stop putting carbon into the air.”

Following a previous release of 53 people from police custody, a Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The right to protest is a fundamental principle of our democracy, but we will not tolerate the guerrilla tactics we have witnessed over the last two weeks.