Insulate Britain protester who glued face to road says 'it wasn't one of my better moves'

Eco-warrior one of 52 people to be arrested in London on Monday

An Insulate Britain protester who glued his face to a busy road in central London has admitted the decision "wasn't one of his better moves".

Matthew Tulley was arrested alongside 51 other climate change protesters after they brought roads in Canary Wharf and the City of London to a standstill during rush hour on Monday.

Mr Tulley winced in pain as he attempted to pull his face from the tarmac, with bystanders then forced to use scissors to cut his hair that had remained stuck to the ground.

Mr Tulley, who runs an carbon offsetting business in the north of England, admitted he had been motivated to carry out an "extreme action".

Speaking while he was being released from the ground, he said: "It wasn’t one of my better moves".

"It was to make a statement that things are fairly critical, and so I was wanting to have an extreme action to reflect the extreme nature of the emergency that we are facing."

Insulate Britain, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, wants the government to insulate all UK homes by 2030 to cut carbon emissions and has been staging protests for several weeks, including on motorways and at the Port of Dover.

A new nationwide injunction has been granted against the group, which means they could be jailed if they block any motorway or major A road across England.

The Department for Transport on Monday said the High Court had granted the interim injunction against climate change demonstrators who cause disruption on “any part of the Strategic Road Network in England”.

The injunction, secured by the National Highways, bans protesters from obstructing traffic and prevents access to 4,300 miles (6,920 kilometres) of motorways and major A roads, said the Department for Transport.

It also prohibits activists from gluing themselves to the road, damaging the road surface and abandoning their vehicles.

Insulate Britain protesters who breach the injunction could be found to be in contempt of court. They could be jailed and face an unlimited fine, the department said.

In a tweet, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Insulate Britain are back, risking lives & ruining journeys. 3 specific injunctions are already in place, but today I instructed @NationalHways to apply for an injunction covering the entire strategic road network – tonight this has been granted on a temp basis by the High Court.

“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.”

Insulate Britain has blocked roads on 14 days over the five weeks to October 14, with activists often gluing their hands to the carriageway to increase the length of time it took for police to remove them.

The demonstrations have led to clashes with the public, including drivers who have dragged protesters out of the road.

The protests on Monday were the organisation’s first since temporarily halting activities for 10 days from October 14.

Updated: November 2nd 2021, 12:19 PM
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