Dozens of arrests as eco mob returns to block busy London road

25 October 2021, 08:09 | Updated: 25 October 2021, 12:23

By Will Taylor

Eco protesters returned to cause misery for motorists as they blocked the busy A10 road in London.

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Insulate Britain, which have drawn rage from motorists as they blocked roads including the M25 and the Port of Dover in recent weeks, had suspended campaigning until Monday.

They claimed they had done so in light of a speech Boris Johnson made on climate change.

But it also followed a fiery encounter with drivers when they demonstrated in Essex, with commuters taking matters into their own hands by dragging campaigners off the road.

A total of 52 people were arrested across locations in London on Monday morning and the A10 was cleared by 11am.

Read more: Eco mob returns for half term disruption as first activists face court cases

Read more: Police make 38 arrests as eco protestors clash with motorists across London

At about 8am on Monday, the group blocked a busy London intersection near Liverpool Street, with drivers trying to get around campaigners as they held up banners.

Police arrived within minutes and began speaking to the activists, some of whom had glued their hands, feet, and in the case of one protestor, his face, to the road.

An activist was seen being dragged off the road as she went limp, while another stood in front of a van as it slowly drove at him.

One told LBC he was campaigning for his grandson in Australia, while taxi driver Mohammed, who was caught up in the disruption, said he was losing money.

Campaigners were also blocking Southwark Bridge and the Limehouse Causeway at the junction with the A1206 near Canary Wharf.

The Met said: "A total of 52 people have been arrested following a number of protests across London and the City of London this morning.

"We responded alongside @CityPolice to events on Bishopsgate, Upper Thames Street, Limehouse and on Southwark Bridge.

"Those arrested are en route to custody."

The group, which demands the insulation of Britain's social housing by 2025 for economic and environmental reasons, is the subject of court bans on parts of the UK's road network. It believes the protests today do not cover court orders banning them from campaigning on certain roads.

Speaking to LBC’s James O’Brien, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he supported the goal of Insulate Britain but did not condone the way in which they protested.

"I think we do need to insulate our homes far more than we currently are," he said.

"Although I support [Insulate Britain’s] ends I don’t support their means."

He added: "I welcome those who are protesting unlawfully being arrested.

"I think the way to protest isn’t to do it in a way that’s not peaceful, not lawful or safe."

Contempt of court applications have already been made against some activists. Contempt can bring prison sentences and fines.

National Highways has made nine applications to the High Court against Insulate Britain activists for breaching injunctions by blocking the M25 motorway.

The court will decide whether they breached the orders, which were made earlier in October.

Hundreds of arrests have been made throughout the group's demonstrations.

City of London Police said: "Bishopsgate is currently closed at the junction with Wormwood Street due to protest activity. Police are at the scene but please avoid the area if possible as this is causing disruption to traffic

"Police are also at Southwark Bridge at the junction with Upper Thames Street, which is also closed in both directions, due to protest activity. Please avoid the area if possible."

Updates to follow