They’re back: Insulate Britain activists from Cambridge block M25 for third time in five days - hours after being released by police
Insulate Britain activists from Cambridge blocked the M25 this morning for the third time in five days - just hours after being released by police.
Cameron Ford, from Whittlesford, and Cambridge residents Priyadaka, Dave McKenny and Donald Bell joined those demanding that Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes more action on insulating Britain’s homes, starting with those of the poorest people in the country.
Meanwhile, other protesters blocked junctions near the M11 at Bishop’s Stortford.
Insulate Britain said 90 people blocked roundabouts and junctions on the M25 network on Friday morning, causing long delays and tempers to flare.
Sitting in the road with banners, they also poured paint on the road, causing more disruption. Police moved in to make arrests.
Carpenter Cameron, 31, said: “I don't want to go again. But unfortunately another 10,000 people will not make it through this winter because of fuel poverty, something that's totally avoidable in this country. And so we're going to keep going until the government take meaningful action and prevent unnecessary deaths, and at the same time reduce our carbon emissions like they've agreed in their own targets.
“We are likely to experience even more violence today. On Wednesday, a car drove through the police barrier about 100 metres away [from me] and drove right at us.
“We were glued onto the road, and police ran out in front of the car to stop it. Some of you will probably wish that he had run us over.
“Yes, we are causing disruption to people's lives but ... unfortunately direct action is the only way that the government act. They won’t act on their own. They have their own vested interests, and it's not in the interest of the people. So we're going again and we'll keep going until meaningful action is taken.”
Insulate Britain has said it continue until the government makes a meaningful commitment to insulate 29 million leaky homes by 2030.
There has been criticism of the police response to the protests, with one video emerging showing an officer appearing to help stop the traffic so that activists were able to walk across the carriageway. The Met police responded that the action was necessary for safety reasons.
Home secretary Priti Patel ordered “decisive action” against the campaigners.
Near Bishop’s Stortford, six men and three women holding banners sat across the road blocking the entrance to the roundabout at junction 8 from the B1256 Takeley Road.
One motorist said: “Lots of people stuck – container lorries with fresh food, Pickfords man due to help someone move house today, folks on way to wedding up north... Ironically one of the folks held up in the queue was a man who fits insulation for a living!”
Meanwhile, the campaigners’ actions earned support from architect Tim Gough, former vice-president of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Construction Industry Council, who said: “Insulate Britain – responsible for closing motorways this week around London – has a straightforward aim: that the government insulate all UK houses by 2030. This is an infrastructure investment project requiring Churchillian levels of political guts, making Dominic Cummings’ recent £1.5bn botched green homes scheme puny by comparison.”
The government has condemned the disruption of people’s lives.
A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said following the first protest on Monday: “People’s day-to-day lives should not be disrupted, especially on busy motorways where lives are put at risk and resulting traffic delays will only add to vehicle emissions.
“We are investing £1.3 billion this year alone to support people to install energy efficiency measures, and our upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy will set out how we decarbonise the nation’s homes in a way that is fair, practical and affordable.”
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