The group says the Government should do more to insulate Britain’s homes and businesses to ensure energy wastage is cut to a minimum. But its tactics have prompted fury among commuters and families – even those who might otherwise be sympathetic to the environmental cause – for leading to long delays in journeys to work and school.
Last week, around 40 demonstrators from the group blockaded junction 25 of the M25 at Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, and the A501 at Old Street roundabout. The group descended on both locations at around 9am on Friday, leading to a total of 35 arrests as Met Police officers cleared both the junction and the roundabout.
Transport for London has been granted a High Court injunction to ban the protesters from blocking traffic in various locations across London, such as Vauxhall Bridge and Tower Bridge.
Protesters will no longer be allowed to block Park Lane, Marble Arch Hyde Park Corner, Elephant and Castle – including all entry and exit roads – and the Victoria one-way system.
But Mr Norton said his fellow protesters had been surprised by the lack of punishment they have faced so far, saying: “We’re just as mystified as the rest of the British public as to why Priti Patel hasn’t put us into prison.
“She’s got the ability to remand us into prison for public nuisance, criminal damage, and the British people should be asking why they haven’t chosen to do that, as we’re just as mystified as anyone else.”
Mr Norton’s two-bedroom flat in south London is understood to generate more carbon emissions than those of most of his neighbours. An official report concluded it had “no roof insulation”, “no cavity wall insulation”, “poor heating control” and “very poor lighting”.
Insulate Britain says the Government, not individuals, should pay the cost of insulating people’s homes.