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Insulate Britain pledges to restart road-blocking protests

·3 min read

Climate group Insulate Britain has pledged to restart its road-blocking protests despite the risk of its members being jailed or fined.

The organisation, which has caused misery for drivers with protesters sitting on the M25 motorway and other major roads, has said the pause to its “campaign of civil resistance” runs out on October 25.

A spokesman, who would not give details of what further action would be taken on Monday, said “there are things happening” that would target morning rush-hour traffic.

Watch: Who is 'Insulate Britain'?

Angry drivers often confronted the protesters and attempted to drag them away during the five-weeks of road sit-ins which were suspended earlier this month.

The Metropolitan Police said it has an appropriate policing plan in place and will respond accordingly to any new protests.

Injunctions have been imposed on the protesters in an effort to stop the disruption and activists who have broken the legal order are now a facing court summons along with and possible imprisonment or an unlimited fine, National Highways said.

Insulate Britain protests
Protesters from Insulate Britain block a road outside the Home Office in central London (Yui Mok/PA)

An Insulate Britain spokesman told the PA news agency: “I don’t know why they have decided to use court injunctions.

“Injunctions change nothing.

“We will be back to continue until the Government give us a meaningful statement that we can trust and then we will be off the roads immediately, other than that the injunctions or the threats of prison don’t anything.”

Insulate Britain protests
Police officers detain a protester from Insulate Britain occupying a roundabout leading from the M25 motorway to Heathrow Airport in London (Steve Parsons/PA)

Insulate Britain, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, wants the Government to insulate all UK homes by 2030 to cut carbon emissions.

It has blocked roads on 14 days over the five weeks to October 14, with activists often gluing their hands to the carriageway to increase the length of time it takes for police to remove them.

Hundreds of arrests were made, with some people detained several times.

On the prospect that the disruptive protests are losing public support, the campaign spokesman said: “It is becoming a binary decision whether people are resisting the facilitation of the destruction of their country, their families, their communities and everything they hold dear or whether they are going to go into resistance against it.

“What we are saying now is that the public need to join us on the roads because the Government are basically committing treason.”

Insulate Britain protests
Police officers worked to free protesters who had glued themselves to the A20 in Kent, during an Insulate Britain protest (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Insulate Britain’s actions are dangerous and disruptive, and we urge them to call off their reckless campaign for good.

“National Highways is now taking the first group of activists from Insulate Britain to court, for breaching injunctions by blocking the M25.

“We will continue working with the police to bring those who carried out dangerous and disruptive action to justice.

“Those activists will now receive a court summons and could face imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

“Timings are now in the hands of the court but we expect hearings will take place as soon as possible.”

Insulate Britain previously admitted its actions on the M25 were “in breach” of an injunction obtained by the Government last month.

People who break injunctions can be found to be in contempt of court, but the protests continued as prosecutions usually take several months.

Watch: Who are Extinction Rebellion and what do they want?

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