Insulate Britain protests spread across England

Climate protesters gather on road networks in Manchester and Birmingham

Insulate Britain protests spread on Tuesday, with demonstrations in the English cities of Birmingham and Manchester in addition to London.

The protests took place as world leaders gathered in Glasgow, Scotland, for the second day of the Cop 26 environment summit.

Insulate Britain announced that about 60 demonstrators gathered at junction 23 of the M25 motorway near London, junction 6 of the M56 in Manchester, and the A4400 around Birmingham.

The London and Manchester roads are part of a strategic network and are covered by a legal super injunction granted to the National Highways agency last week.

About 20 demonstrators arrived at the M25 at 8am, but were stopped by police from getting to the road.

Six sat on the pavement with a banner, and some glued themselves to the ground, a common tactic for Insulate Britain protesters.

Another two managed to glue themselves to one lane of the carriageway on a quiet part of the roundabout.

A group of officers lifted protesters from the pavement and put them in the back of a van.

Reverend Sue Parfitt, 79, a retired family therapist from Bristol, was among those detained.

They say 'We agree with your cause but not the tactics,' but at the end of the day they only know about our cause because of our tactics
Insulate Britain protester

More than a dozen officers and seven police vehicles were at the scene.

Some passers-by shouted expletives at the protesters while other sounded their horns.

"Before we started doing this, no-one was talking about insulation, nobody cared about it, nobody knew it was an issue now, and it's been in the newspapers and it's been all over people's dinner table conversations for the last six weeks," said Jess, 25, who glued her hand to the road.

"They say 'We agree with your cause but not the tactics,' but at the end of the day they only know about our cause because of our tactics."

Nine demonstrators received committal papers relating to an injunction granted to National Highways to stop roadblocks, an Insulate Britain representative said.

Those who break the injunctions could be found in contempt of court and face a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

Diana Warner, 62, a retired GP, said: "One of the important reasons for coming out today was to say we're all together. It's not just nine."

Insulate Britain activists have blocked roads on 18 days since September 13.

So far, 161 people have been involved in the roadblock campaign and there have been 770 arrests, excluding Tuesday's action.

Updated: November 2nd 2021, 12:51 PM