Frustrated motorists dragged Insulate Britain protesters off the road as their demonstration continues, ITV News Reporter Martha Fairlie reports
A woman has been seen pleading with Insulate Britain to let her through to see her mother who she said was in hospital after the climate crisis activists blocked the Blackwall Tunnel in London.
LBC captured the moment a woman stuck in the traffic tearfully clashed with protesters as they blocked her journey to see her mother, who she said was in hospital.
Amid blaring horns from dozens of other angry motorists, she told them: “She’s in the ambulance, she’s going to the hospital in Canterbury, do you think I’m stupid?
“I need to go to the hospital, please let me pass. This isn’t OK … How can you be so selfish?”
Protesters wearing high-vis jackets appeared to be speaking quietly with the woman but showed no sign of letting her through.
The activists at Blackwall Tunnel had sat on the northbound A102 at rush hour, as well as at three other major routes in the capital.
Wandsworth Bridge in south London, Hanger Lane and Arnos Grove were also targeted.
Overhead footage shows long queues after Insulate Britain blocks the Blackwall Tunnel
Furious motorists at Wandsworth Bridge have been dragging protesters out of the road where they appeared to be blocking an ambulance, in a video shared by TalkRadio.
One driver can be heard saying: “There’s an ambulance, you stupid p****, get out of the road”, as activists are picked off the ground and dragged away.
The group's founder has refused to stand down and his defended his protesters.
Roger Hallam told the Unbreak the Planet podcast: "What we're talking about is the loss of people's pensions in the next ten years, the loss of people's incomes, the mass migration of hundreds of millions of people, the indescribable injustice to people of colour in the global south because of the collective selfishness of people in the north."
Insulate Britain leader justifies his group's actions: "This is about what's morally right and what's morally wrong"
"We're talking about the biggest crime in human history imposed by the rich against the global poor."He said he would have refused to move for the woman who was trying to get to the hospital.
Speaking to ITV News another Insulate Britain leader said his group would stop if they got a meaningful statement from the government.
Liam Norton said: "This is about what's morally right and what's morally wrong."
When asked if it was morally right to block ambulances and people getting to hospital he said: "We're talking about the death and destruction of millions of people and the destruction of our society."The Metropolitan Police said it has arrested 38 people on suspicion of disrupting the highway and conspiracy to cause public nuisance in connection with Insulate Britain protests in London on Monday morning.
Protests have taken place on the A2, the A3, the A12 and A40, and the force said heavy disruption remains at all four locations, although the roads remain open.
In a statement on Twitter, the Met said: “We consider protests of this nature unreasonable and are acting as quickly as possible to minimise disruption caused to members of the public using the roads.”
It is the latest in a string of protests from the group, which has previously targeted the M25, M4 and Port of Dover.
This comes after the Government took out a fresh injunction last week banning protesters from Insulate Britain from obstructing traffic and access to motorways and major A Roads in and around London.
Anyone who breaks the injunction faces imprisonment or an unlimited fine, and activists found in contempt of court may also be forced to repay the costs of their case.
Insulate Britain has pledged to continue its action until the Government makes “a meaningful statement indicating that they will insulate all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030”.
The group said in a statement: “It’s incomprehensible that the government is continuing to delay action on home insulation when we urgently need to cut our carbon emissions, eliminate fuel poverty and help hard-working families with their rising energy bills.
“Added to which industry is crying out for the government to show some leadership and get behind a national retrofitting strategy. Come on Boris: get on with the job.”