Insulate Britain protestors block London's Lambeth bridge

Eco-activists gather to rally against the jailing of nine Insulate Britain activists

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Climate activists Insulate Britain have sat down in the middle of Lambeth Bridge, preventing traffic from getting through.

Eco-activists have also gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice to rally against the jailing of nine Insulate Britain activists for blocking the M25 in defiance of a court injunction.

The Metropolitan Police said in a tweet: 'We are responding to a demonstration which is blocking Lambeth Bridge. Officers were called at 14:10hrs and remain at the scene. Road closures are in place. Traffic has had to be diverted for the safety of all.'

Nine members of the group 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 activist Alanna Byrne, who took part in the protest, said: “When I saw the Highway Nine give their testimonies in court this week, I knew I had a duty to take a stand today in their place.

“These people willingly gave up their freedom to push the Government to act on the greatest crisis we’ll ever face.

“The failure of Cop26 should shock everyone into action. World leaders are protecting the interests of the fossil fuel industry over the general public – they are not coming to save us.

“All we have left now is to come together on the street and rebel for all we hold dear.

“The Government thinks that this injunction will scare people into submission and stop taking action. But the opposite is true.

“This has only ignited a fire in people that will spread faster than they know. As Emma Smart said in the courtroom on Wednesday: ‘I will not be a bystander.’ And neither should you.

Campaigners blocked off Lambeth Bridge with a sit-down demonstration which quickly saw police divert traffic to other routes.

Gabriella Ditton, 27, an animator from Norwich, said she has been arrested six times with Insulate Britain, including once for breaking the injunction.

She told the PA news agency: “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.