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Monday, October 18, 2021

Insulate Britain protesters dragged off M25 junction by angry drivers and police

Angry motorists and police dragged Insulate Britain protesters off an M25 junction as the group blocked roads for the 13th time.

The clashes between drivers and protesters ensued after demonstrators blocked the junction to St Clements Way and London Road in Thurrock on Wednesday morning.

Police officers detain a demonstrator as Insulate Britain activists block a roundabout at a junction on the M25 motorway during a protest in Thurrock, Britain October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Police said they made arrests
Protesters blocking the road on Wednesday morning. Pic: Insulate Britain
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Protesters blocking the road on Wednesday morning. Pic: Insulate Britain

Police later arrived and removed more protesters from the roads. Essex Police said 35 people had been arrested.

Several Insulate Britain members had glued themselves to the road, causing long queues of vehicles.

Some members of the group were dragged off the road multiple times by drivers, who pulled their backpacks and clothing, before the demonstrators immediately returned to their spots to sit down again.

Lorry drivers blasted their horns and some motorists ripped banners out of the hands of the demonstrators as they stayed sitting or lying in the road.

Meanwhile, a female protester was almost run over after stopping in front of a blue Hyundai car, and was berated by the driver who told her: “This is stupidity.”

Footage also circulated online showing a mother getting out of her black Range Rover and argueing with those gathered around her car.

“Move out of the f****** way, my son needs to get to school,” she told demonstrators.

The group are calling for homes to be insulated. Pic: Insulate Britain
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The group is calling for homes to be insulated. Pic: Insulate Britain
Police officers detain a man as Insulate Britain activists block a roundabout at a junction on the M25 motorway during a protest in Thurrock, Britain October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Protesters could face prison time after the High Court granted an injunction
Protesters block junction 13. Pic: Insulate Britain
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Protesters block a slip road at Junction 13 of the M25. Pic: Insulate Britain

“I don’t care what the f****** issue is. My son is 11 and he needs to get to school today, so move out of the way and let me get him to school.”

Responding to the incident, Essex Police said: “Officers were at the scene within five minutes and are currently working to resolve the situation quickly and safely. Arrests have been made.”

HGV drivers also warned that the protests could cause the ongoing fuel crisis to worsen as tankers will be unable to reach filling stations.

One driver told LBC news: “If this protest stays here for much longer, I’m afraid the night shift driver will not be able to deliver fuel for any garages or anyone.

Police officers remove Insulate Britain activists as they block a roundabout at a junction on the M25 motorway during a protest in Thurrock, Britain October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Police work to remove protesters from the road
A police officer tries to remove the hand of a demonstrator glued to the road as Insulate Britain activists block a roundabout at a junction on the M25 motorway as they a protest in Thurrock, Britain October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Several glued themselves to the tarmac
An Insulate Britain activist is handcuffed as demonstrators block a roundabout at a junction on the M25 motorway during a protest in Thurrock, Britain October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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A protester is handcuffed by police

“So talking about lorry driver shortages and fuel shortages, today it may get worse. This is a hotspot.

“We also deliver to commercials, bus garages, train depots, which are all essential for transport.”

Delivery driver Robert J Foulger, 57, said: “There were nine police vehicles there and countless officers not out catching criminals, costing the taxpayer money.

“I took pictures whilst sitting in traffic trying to deliver fresh produce to a supermarket distribution centre. I was on the moving side of traffic so didn’t wait long, luckily.”

The High Court has granted National Highways several injunctions against protesters blocking sections of the M25 as well as other major transport routes in recent weeks.

The injunctions mean anyone breaching the order could face a prison sentence, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said.

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Insulate Britain activists refused to move for a woman who was begging them to let her through to see her mum, who was in an ambulance on her way to hospital.

A police officer detains an Insulate Britain activist blocking a roundabout at a junction on the M25 motorway as they a protest in Thurrock, Britain October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Protesters sat or lay in the road
Police officers try to remove hands of Insulate Britain activists glued to the ground as they block a roundabout at a junction on the M25 motorway during a protest in Thurrock, Britain October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Police work to remove protesters

But despite this, the group returned to the M25 on Wednesday to demand that the government insulate homes in the UK ahead of winter, starting with the poorest.

Dr Diana Warner, an Insulate Britain supporter, said: “Many people are going out of their way to thank us. Some come out of their cars to thank us, some are police officers involved with our arrests. To them, we bring hope – we haven’t yet given up. We are still pushing for life saving changes.

“It is a big step to move from thanking us to taking action. But if you make some move to help us, however small, you will be helping us to achieve change.”

Police officers remove Insulate Britain activists as they block a roundabout at a junction on the M25 motorway during a protest in Thurrock, Britain October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Police responding to the protests
The protesters returned to the M25 despite an injunction which threatens them with prison terms
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The protesters returned to the M25 despite an injunction which threatens them with prison terms

The group said on Wednesday that the action is coinciding with the release of a report by the charity Shelter, which found the health of 22% of renters in England – or 1.9 million households – is being harmed by poor housing.

The report said people are living in homes “that make them sick because they are mouldy, cold, unaffordable and grossly insecure”.

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