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Insulate Britain: environmental protesters glue themselves to Southwark Bridge

More than 50 members of environmental protest group Insulate Britain have been arrested after gluing themselves to key London roads on Monday morning (October 25), including Southwark Bridge.

Police asked motorists to stay away from the area in the wake of the protests to avoid worsening traffic disruption.

Some 61 protesters blocked three locations in London – Bishopsgate and Limehouse Causeway as well as Upper Thames Street on the north side of Southwark Bridge. This is the fourteenth time that Insulate Britain has blocked motorways and A roads over the past six weeks, including the M25.

Insulate Britain wants the government to insulate every home in the country by 2030, so less energy is used on heating and fewer people are stuck in “fuel poverty” – meaning they cannot heat their homes. Charity National Energy Action said earlier this month that rising heating bills driven by higher gas prices could make up to 1.5m households fall into fuel poverty.

Spokesperson Liam Norton said: “We know that the public is frustrated and annoyed at the disruption we have caused. They should know that one way or another this country will have to stop emitting carbon. We can do that now in an orderly, planned way, insulating homes and preventing thousands of deaths from fuel poverty or we can wait until millions have lost their homes and are fighting for water or starving to death.”

Transport for London (TfL) has obtained legal injunctions to stop protesters blocking fourteen roads in the capital, including the approaches to both Tower Bridge and London Bridge on both sides, as well as every entry and exit road to the Elephant and Castle roundabout. Southwark Bridge is not included.

Breaking these injunctions means protesters can be punished for being in contempt of court, which has a maximum punishment of a two-year jail sentence.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Monday evening that he had told National Highways, which manages the UK’s roads “to apply for an injunction covering the entire strategic road network”.

“Tonight this has been granted on a temp basis by the High Court,” he said in a social media post.

“The long term solution lies in changes to the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill, giving additional powers against disruptive protests which target critical national infrastructure. This includes unlimited fines & prison sentences of up to 6 months for obstructing highways.”

It comes after Shapps said on Friday that the government was taking a first group of Insulate Britain activists to court for their “dangerous and self-defeating action” on the M25, and that they could face prison time.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for the article, very informative and highlights the need to insulate our homes to tackle energy poverty and the climate crisis. We need more people to make a stand and be heard!

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