Angry London Drivers Drag Climate Activists off Road to Clear Traffic Jam
Insulate Britain, founded by several prominent figures in direct-action environmentalist campaign Extinction Rebellion, has frustrated motorists by blocking motorways around London and across the country, stopping ambulances reaching crash sites and patients getting to hospital.
Motorists and paramedics have dragged green protesters off a road in in south-west London in the latest such direct action protest.
A video showed drivers grabbing members of the now-notorious Insulate Britain
group on Monday morning and pulling them bodily onto a traffic island on the south side of Wandsworth Bridge, a busy route across the river Thames to Fulham and the rest of west London.
Angry motorists are heard swearing at the environmentalists as they unceremoniously remove them from the roadway.
"There’s an ambulance, you stupid pr*ck, get out of the road!" says one man.
"We share the frustration of the people delayed on the roads at Wandsworth", an Insulate Britain spokesperson said. "The protests could end immediately if Government issues a meaningful statement that we can trust on insulating our homes".
One man — a cyclist — expressed support for the protesters.
But outspoken broadcaster George Galloway backed the motorists' own form of direct action, and vowed to emulate it if he encountered a road protest.
Meanwhile, another roadblock at the Blackwall Tunnel in east London reduced one woman to tears as the environmentalists blocked her from rushing to her mother's bedside in hospital.
"She’s in the ambulance, she’s going to the hospital in Canterbury, do you think I’m stupid?" the woman pleaded with protesters. "I need to go to the hospital, please let me pass. This isn’t OK… How can you be so selfish?"
17 September 2021, 14:30 GMT
The activists have previously blocked motorways around the capital, demanding that the government pay to insulate homes, which it is already doing via its Green Homes Grant
But Insulate Britain's leaders include Roger Hallam, a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, who has a history of opposing other forms of transport relying on fossil fuels.
Hallam 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. Last week, Insulate Britain blocked access roads
to the airport in West London.