Insulate Britain today urged drivers not to use the M25 as they threatened to bring chaos to the motorway once again tomorrow with a series of road blockades.
The environmental campaigners also asked police to refuse to arrest them and warned their ‘non-violent civil resistance’ will restart on the road from 7am tomorrow.
Insulate Britain added that if motorists do still choose to use the M25 tomorrow then their speed should be ‘reduced to 20 mph to minimise the risk of accidents’.
It comes after the London-based activists were effectively banned from all major roads in England yesterday following a landmark High Court ruling.
The protesters have brought chaos to motorways and A roads over the last six weeks with hundreds of arrests made – but the Metropolitan Police has still charged no one.
In their latest demonstration, the eco-zealots brought parts of London to a standstill once again yesterday – several of them glueing their hands, feet or faces to roads.
Insulate Britain activists once again caused chaos in London yesterday as they brought traffic to a standstill on Bishopsgate near Liverpool Street station
An Insulate Britain spokesman said today: ‘In light of a national injunction covering England’s highways, Insulate Britain has declared the M25 a site of nonviolent civil resistance and called for motorway traffic to be slowed.
‘You can’t imprison a flood, there are no unlimited fines against a famine, you can’t bankrupt a fire. You can imprison the ordinary people of Britain, yet the lives of our children and those of all future generations hang in the balance.
Three requests made by Insulate Britain
Insulate Britain has issued three requests ahead of its M25 protests restarting tomorrow at 7am. They are:
- ‘People do not use the M25, or if they do, speeds are reduced to 20 mph to minimise the risk of accidents.’
- ‘The Highway agency acts on its responsibilities to keep the public safe by enforcing this speed limit.’
- ‘The police refuse to arrest us, as we are upholding the British constitution and they have a duty to refuse to obey any government that fails to uphold its first and most important responsibility: the protection of people in Britain.’
‘By refusing to insulate Britain’s homes, our government is also condemning thousands to death through fuel poverty this winter, while countless families will once again be cold and hungry.
‘We are not concerned with endless injunctions. We are not concerned with our fears. We are concerned with fulfilling our duties and responsibilities at this ‘period of consequence’.’
The group added that the M25 will ‘become a place of nonviolent civil resistance to stop our government committing crimes against humanity’ from 7am tomorrow.
The Insulate Britain spokesman continued: ‘This government, our government, is actively pursuing policies that will lead to the destruction of our country due to climate catastrophe.
‘In a free society, citizens have the right and a duty to rebel against plans which will knowingly result in the deaths of millions.
‘Insulate Britain acknowledges the inconvenience and irritation we are causing to the public in our campaign, we ask that you understand that the days of disruption are necessary to force a government to fulfil its most basic of duties to protect and defend its people.
‘Insulate Britain considers the UK Government to be in treasonous betrayal of this country.’
The group has set out three demands – the first being that people ‘do not use the M25, or if they do, speeds are reduced to 20 mph to minimise the risk of accidents’.
Protesters from Insulate Britain block a road near Canary Wharf in East London yesterday
Climate activists from Insulate Britain are pulled off the road near Southwark Bridge yesterday
The second is that National Highways ‘acts on its responsibilities to keep the public safe by enforcing this speed limit’.
Insulate Britain: How activists have made a mockery of the law
September 13 – 78 Insulate Britain protesters arrested after blocking junctions 3, 6, 14, 20 and 31 of the M25
September 15 – More than 50 protesters arrested after targeting junctions 1, 8, 9 and 23 of the M25
September 17 – 48 protesters arrested after targeting junctions 3, 9 and 28 of the M25, as well as the M3
September 20 – 29 protesters are arrested after blocking the M25 at junctions 4 and 18, as well as the A1
September 21 – Protesters risk death by running into moving traffic to block the carriageway near Junction 10. Some 38 arrests are made. National Highways obtains an injunction against further protests on the M25
September 22 – Protesters burn copies of the injunction outside the Home Office, blocking the road outside the ministry. No arrests are made
September 24 – 39 protesters arrested after blocking roads at three locations in Dover. They are all released under investigation. National Highways obtains a second injunction covering Dover.
September 27 – 53 protesters are arrested for blocking a slip road at Junction 14 of the M25. They are all released under investigation.
September 28 – National Highways says it is taking ‘legal advice’ over how to enforce its injunction
September 29 – 27 protesters are arrested for blocking a roundabout at Junction 3 of the M25 on two occasions
September 30 – Protesters return to junction 30 at Thurrock in Essex, and nine are arrested
October 1: The group block the M4 at junction 3, the M1 at junction 1 and M25 at junction 25. Some 39 arrests
October 2: Third injunction bans them from obstructing traffic and access to motorways and major A roads in and around London
October 4: 38 arrests after protesters block three major roads in London – the Blackwall Tunnel, Wandsworth Bridge and A40 and North Circular at Hanger Lane.
October 8: 19 arrested over protest at Old Street roundabout and a further 16 on the M25 at junction 24. Transport for London gets a High Court injunction to ban them from obstructing traffic in 14 locations in London.
October 13: Protesters return to the M25 at junction 31 and a nearby industrial estate, with 35 people arrested.
October 15: Activists target areas around Southwark Bridge, Canary Wharf and Liverpool Street station. Some 53 are arrested.
And the third is that the ‘police refuse to arrest us, as we are upholding the British constitution and they have a duty to refuse to obey any government that fails to uphold its first and most important responsibility: the protection of people in Britain.’
The group also insisted: ‘We will ensure that emergency ‘blue light’ access is maintained.’
Yesterday, Insulate Britain activists were effectively banned from all major roads in England yesterday following a major High Court ruling.
Judges approved the application of an injunction against protesting on 4,300 miles of motorways and major A-roads, also known as the Strategic Road Network.
Anyone breaking it faces unlimited fines or jail for contempt of court.
It had originally been thought that the application, made by the country’s roads agency National Highways, would not be granted as it is so wide-ranging and unprecedented.
It came as Insulate Britain brought central London to a standstill once again yesterday, blocking hundreds of motorists – including one driving his father to hospital for cancer treatment.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the expanded injunction had been granted last night.
He tweeted: ‘Insulate Britain are back, risking lives & ruining journeys. 3 specific injunctions are already in place, but today I instructed @NationalHways to apply for an injunction covering the entire strategic road network – tonight this has been granted on a temp basis by the High Court.
‘The long term solution lies in changes to the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill, giving additional powers against disruptive protests which target critical national infrastructure.
‘This includes unlimited fines & prison sentences of up to 6 months for obstructing highways.’ It is understood the new injunction will last until Thursday, when another High Court hearing will take place to decide if it should be extended.
The original injunctions only applied to the M25, feeder roads onto the M25 and the Port of Dover.
Members of the Extinction Rebellion offshoot have repeatedly blocked major roads, including the M25 and the M4, since September 13.
Transport for London also has an injunction effectively banning protests.
Last week it emerged nine activists will become the first to be taken to court for allegedly breaking the original National Highways injunction, with a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on November 16.
Following yesterday’s protests the Metropolitan Police said 53 people were arrested after obstructing four busy streets across central and east London during the morning rush hour.
The blockades – the first since a temporary pause for ten days by the group – triggered fury from Londoners, with many being filmed trying to drag the eco-warriors off the carriageway.
In one heated exchange, a man said he was trying to get his father to hospital for cancer treatment.
Police officers remove a climate activist from the road near Southwark Bridge yesterday
He said: ‘Do you know what it’s like someone trying to get treatment for cancer and you’re standing like this? People are trying to get to hospital, of all places.’
Now eco mob scale the HOME OFFICE: Animal rights protestors climb government building in London where Defra is also based demanding switch to plant-based diets ahead of COP26
Animal rights activists scaled the Defra and Home Office building in London today as they demanded ‘government support for a plant-based food system’ at Cop26.
Several activists from Animal Rebellion climbed up the structure on Marsham Street in Westminster, which houses both departments, from about 6am this morning.
Animal Rebellion activists hang a banner at the Home Office building in London today
Animal Rebellion, which was founded in July 2019, said it would continue to take action until the Government ‘defunds meat and subsidises a plant-based transition’.
Police, firefighters and paramedics were all at the scene, and the protesters – who were all wearing climbing equipment – then dropped a banner over the entrance.
The protests were the organisation’s first since temporarily halting activities for 10 days from October 14.
Many of the activists superglued themselves to the road surface, with one even affixing his head to the tarmac.
In a new tactic, they also handed out leaflets to drivers, in an apparent bid to discourage violence against them, after a woman rammed a protestor with her Range Rover earlier this month.
The message read: ‘Dear driver, we are peaceful and non-violent.
‘We are sorry to delay your journey. For your safety please stay in your vehicle and do not drive on the hard shoulder, this is for emergency vehicles.
‘The police are on their way. They will arrest us and you will be able to continue your journey.’ Protestor Tony Hill, 71, said he had travelled from near Kendal in Cumbria to the capital to take part.
He said: ‘I’m here today out of anger, fear and determination. The anger that my Government is failing the people of our country.
‘The governments of the world are failing everyone. Everyone says we’re at the 11th hour but we’re at midnight and nothing substantial is being done by our Government and the governments across the world.
‘We’re saying insulate as many buildings as we can. It’s a no brainer. It’s something we can all do, it’s a solution.
‘We’ve got the money; all we need is the will power from our Government to do it. It will save money, create jobs, save lives and save the planet. Why aren’t they doing it?’
By midday, the last of the protesters at Bishopsgate and Camomile Street had been removed from the scene, letting the traffic flow freely once more.
The campaign continues despite facing repeated threats of imprisonment or unlimited fine for breaking various injunctions.
Yet Highways England is currently only applying for contempt of court proceedings to go ahead against nine protestors – with a court date yet to be scheduled.