Video: Police Act Against Climate Protesters Blocking M25 Motorway

© REUTERS / INSULATE BRITAINProtest of Insulate Britain on M25 Motorway
Protest of Insulate Britain on M25 Motorway - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.09.2021
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Insulate Britain is led by Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam, the SUV-driving global warming activist who was arrested and charged in September 2019 for his part in a plot to endanger tens of thousands of lives by flying drones over Heathrow Airport.
Police have moved swiftly to arrest dozens of climate change activists blocking the M25 motorway around London — after days of disruption from similar protests.
Essex, Kent, and Surrey Police collared members of Insulate Britain, one of many groups connected to Extinction Rebellion (XR).
The group said 79 of its "newly released campaigners" had tried to block the orbital motorway hours after being released from custody following their arrests for similar actions on Wednesday.
Essex Police said they had made 24 arrests on the M25 and M11 — the main route to the county's Stansted Airport. Protesters painted the campaign's initials on the roadway during their sit-in in a bid to delay its reopening.

"Incidents of this nature have the potential to cause significant disruption to road users, who may need to get to work, an appointment, or catch a flight", Essex Superintendent Sam Smith said.

"Our officers worked quickly to remove attempted protests this morning and made 24 arrests in a matter of minutes", Smith stressed. "The roads have now reopened and traffic is moving freely. I want to thank the drivers affected for their patience and understanding".

Surrey Police said they had arrested 14 people at Junction 9 of the M25 near Leatherhead and 10 more at Junction 1 of the M3 — the south-western route out of London to Southampton — at Sunbury-on-Thames.
The sit-down action caused two lanes of the motorway to be closed on the anti-clockwise side, causing tailbacks, but the junctions were cleared by 10:15 am.
Insulate Britain claims to be campaigning against climate poverty by demanding the government improve home insulation — which it is already doing through its Green Homes Grant scheme.
But a protester named only as Harry, a solar energy engineer from Cornwall in the south-west of England, said his concerns were about global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.

"Although I actively chose a career in the renewable energy sector, I feel like I need to do more to prepare this country for the oncoming effects of climate change", Harry said. "I don't believe the government is doing enough. I'm taking part in this action because I want the government to move faster on reducing CO2 emissions".

The group's leaders include Roger Hallam, a co-founder of XR who was arrested in September 2019 and charged with conspiring to cause a public nuisance over his part in a plot to fly aerial drones over Heathrow Airport, potentially risking tens of thousands of passengers' lives.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the roadblocks put "drivers at risk and INCREASES pollution" — and put the police on notice to crack down on them.
One woman had to be airlifted to hospital on Tuesday after a pile-up in tailbacks on the M25 caused by the protesters.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the police had the government's support, and stressed that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill soon to become law would make public nuisance a serious criminal offence.

"This government will not stand by and allow a small minority of selfish protesters to cause significant disruption to the lives and livelihoods of the hard-working majority", Patel said.

"This kind of disruption is dangerous and takes police away from communities where they are needed most", she added. "That's exactly why we are giving police the powers to better manage such highly disruptive demonstrations in future".
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