Fury as police ask activists ‘if they need anything’ as eco-mob block motorways AGAIN

Police were caught on film standing around with their hands in their pockets for more than two hours and asking the climate anarchists who set up roadblocks on three motorways during rush hour today ‘if they need anything’ before arresting them amid travel chaos on the M25, A3 and Dartford Crossing.

The failure of officers to clear Insulate Britain protesters for two-and-a-half hours sparked fury as a video emerged of police telling activists: ‘If any of you have any questions, or are in any discomfort or need anything, just let us know’ – while stricken motorists couldn’t get to work, hospitals and appointments.

Another video showed an officer at the sit-down on his own and being met with silence after asking the demonstrators which of them had organised today’s protest. He then told them ‘I’m going to have to ask you to move’ before awkwardly leaving. 

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion offshoot group halted traffic near Junction 23 at South Mimms from 8am while another group shut down the main carriageway of the M25 anti-clockwise in Surrey between Junction 10 and Junction 8.

A 50-year-old woman was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries following a crash at Junction 9 involving multiple vehicles. In a statement, Surrey Police said the investigation into the circumstances of the crash is ongoing and that ‘it is too early in the investigation to know if these two incidents are linked’.

A third group glued their hands to the road on Junction 1b near the Dartford Crossing. Demos also took place at Junction 25 on the M25, the A10 in Hertfordshire and Junction 10 of the A3 in Surrey. By around 9.30am, the group had blocked traffic in five locations.

By 10.30am, Surrey Police tweeted they have made a total of 32 arrests. Kent Police said 21 people were arrested at two sites near the Dartford Crossing while Hertfordshire Police said they had arrested a further 18 people in South Mimms.

However, furious Conservative MPs Ian Liddell-Grainger and Craig Mackinlay slammed police for ‘standing around for hours at a time before doing anything’ and urged officers to ‘use the powers available to them to clear this protest immediately’.

One activist involved in Monday’s demo even boasted to Nick Ferrari on LBC he had been released by police and not prevented from protesting today. He went on to compare his cause to those of Martin Luther King, the Suffragettes and Mahatma Gandhi.  

Mr Liddell-Grainger backed ‘much tougher sentences’ for ‘arrogant and stuck-up’ climate anarchists who ’cause immense harm to people’s lives and livelihoods’. 

Though most of the activists who brought the M25 to a standstill three days ago have been arrested for the crime of blocking a public highway, which carries a maximum penalty of £1,000, they will be fined just a fifth of that because it was a first offence.

‘They should have a criminal record and everybody should be made aware of the damage and misery they cause,’ Mr Liddell-Grainger raged. ‘Their whole plan, of sowing chaos to our lives in this way, just won’t fly with the British public because they don’t kowtow to bullies. 

‘They cannot be allowed to hijack the conversation by threatening to destroy livelihoods if they don’t get their own way. If they have a grievance, they should take it up with their Member of Parliament in the lawful, peaceful way. They can’t just throw a tantrum and sit in the road at whatever cost to other people. 

‘If they can’t be adults in this conversation, they shouldn’t be in the conversation at all.’ 

As the climate anarchists brought traffic to a standstill today:

  • Tory MPs took aim at police for ‘standing around’ for two hours before arresting the climate protesters;
  • They backed tougher sentences for activists who cause serious disruption to people’s lives and livelihoods;
  • A 50-year-old woman was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after a crash on J9 on the M25;
  • Surrey Police said inquiries are ongoing and it is too early to say if the crash was caused by the protests; 
  • GMB host Richard Madeley accused Insulate Britain activists of ‘fascism’ during a heated TV row. 

Video shared on Twitter showed one police officer arriving at the sit-down on his own and awkwardly being met with silence after asking the demonstrators which of them organised today's protest

Video shared on Twitter showed one police officer arriving at the sit-down on his own and awkwardly being met with silence after asking the demonstrators which of them organised today’s protest

Protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

Protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

Protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

Police restrain an angry motorist as protesters from Insulate Britain block a major roundabout near the Dartford crossing

Police restrain an angry motorist as protesters from Insulate Britain block a major roundabout near the Dartford crossing

Police restrain an angry motorist as protesters from Insulate Britain block a major roundabout near the Dartford crossing

Motorists attempt to move activists as protesters from Insulate Britain block a roundabout near the Dartford crossing

Motorists attempt to move activists as protesters from Insulate Britain block a roundabout near the Dartford crossing

Motorists attempt to move activists as protesters from Insulate Britain block a roundabout near the Dartford crossing

Queues of traffic on the M25 banking up to junction 22 caused by the climate change demos

Queues of traffic on the M25 banking up to junction 22 caused by the climate change demos

Queues of traffic on the M25 banking up to junction 22 caused by the climate change demos

Police arrest a climate change demonstrator blocking the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

Police arrest a climate change demonstrator blocking the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

Police arrest a climate change demonstrator blocking the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

Police attempt to remove a protestors who have glued their hands to the M25

Police attempt to remove a protestors who have glued their hands to the M25

Police attempt to remove a protestors who have glued their hands to the M25

Eighteen demonstrators from Insulate Britain, an Extincion Rebellion offshoot, halted traffic near J23 at South Mimms while another group shut down the main carriageway of the M25 anti-clockwise in Surrey between J9 at Leatherhead and J8 at Reigate

Eighteen demonstrators from Insulate Britain, an Extincion Rebellion offshoot, halted traffic near J23 at South Mimms while another group shut down the main carriageway of the M25 anti-clockwise in Surrey between J9 at Leatherhead and J8 at Reigate

Eighteen demonstrators from Insulate Britain, an Extincion Rebellion offshoot, halted traffic near J23 at South Mimms while another group shut down the main carriageway of the M25 anti-clockwise in Surrey between J9 at Leatherhead and J8 at Reigate

Traffic builds up as emergency services attend a serious road crash anti-clockwise on the M25 just before junction 9

Traffic builds up as emergency services attend a serious road crash anti-clockwise on the M25 just before junction 9

Traffic builds up as emergency services attend a serious road crash anti-clockwise on the M25 just before junction 9

There has been an accident at Junction 10 this morning, though it is unclear if this was caused by the demos

There has been an accident at Junction 10 this morning, though it is unclear if this was caused by the demos

There has been an accident at Junction 10 this morning, though it is unclear if this was caused by the demos

Eighteen protesters from Insulate Britain, an Extinction Rebellion offshoot, halted traffic near Junction 23 at South Mimms while another group shut down the main carriageway of the M25 anti-clockwise in Surrey between Junction 10 and Junction 8. There has been a road traffic collision at Junction 9 this morning involving multiple vehicles, with police, fire service and ambulances currently on the scene. A third group blocked Junction 1b near the Dartford Crossing and glued their hands to the road. Demonstrations were also taking place at Junction 25 on the M25, the A10 in Hertfordshire and Junction 10 of the A3 in Surrey. At around 9.30am, the group had blocked traffic in five locations

Eighteen protesters from Insulate Britain, an Extinction Rebellion offshoot, halted traffic near Junction 23 at South Mimms while another group shut down the main carriageway of the M25 anti-clockwise in Surrey between Junction 10 and Junction 8. There has been a road traffic collision at Junction 9 this morning involving multiple vehicles, with police, fire service and ambulances currently on the scene. A third group blocked Junction 1b near the Dartford Crossing and glued their hands to the road. Demonstrations were also taking place at Junction 25 on the M25, the A10 in Hertfordshire and Junction 10 of the A3 in Surrey. At around 9.30am, the group had blocked traffic in five locations

Eighteen protesters from Insulate Britain, an Extinction Rebellion offshoot, halted traffic near Junction 23 at South Mimms while another group shut down the main carriageway of the M25 anti-clockwise in Surrey between Junction 10 and Junction 8. There has been a road traffic collision at Junction 9 this morning involving multiple vehicles, with police, fire service and ambulances currently on the scene. A third group blocked Junction 1b near the Dartford Crossing and glued their hands to the road. Demonstrations were also taking place at Junction 25 on the M25, the A10 in Hertfordshire and Junction 10 of the A3 in Surrey. At around 9.30am, the group had blocked traffic in five locations

Police arrest a protestor from the group Insulate Britain after removing him from the M25

Police arrest a protestor from the group Insulate Britain after removing him from the M25

Police arrest a protestor from the group Insulate Britain after removing him from the M25

Protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

Protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

Protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

More than 80 climate anarchists set up roadblocks on the M25 during rush hour today for the second time this week in an apparent bid to force action to reverse climate change and save the planet

More than 80 climate anarchists set up roadblocks on the M25 during rush hour today for the second time this week in an apparent bid to force action to reverse climate change and save the planet

More than 80 climate anarchists set up roadblocks on the M25 during rush hour today for the second time this week in an apparent bid to force action to reverse climate change and save the planet

Traffic is slow and matrix signs warn of pedestrians in the road on the M25 as protesters blockade the M25

Traffic is slow and matrix signs warn of pedestrians in the road on the M25 as protesters blockade the M25

Traffic is slow and matrix signs warn of pedestrians in the road on the M25 as protesters blockade the M25

Heavy traffic on the M25 near a serious road crash as protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25

Heavy traffic on the M25 near a serious road crash as protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25

Heavy traffic on the M25 near a serious road crash as protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25

Insulate Britain, an Extinction Rebellion offshoot, is demanding government action on home insulation

Insulate Britain, an Extinction Rebellion offshoot, is demanding government action on home insulation

Insulate Britain, an Extinction Rebellion offshoot, is demanding government action on home insulation

‘If you need anything, just let me know’: Police officer jokes with M25 eco-mob and asks if they are in any ‘discomfort’ as protesters block busy motorway

What the officer said: 

‘Right, I have spoken to officers about what offences are available to them. Individual officers will come and speak to you and they will make their own decision as to whether you are arrested for failing to comply with Section 14.

‘Each individual officer will come and speak to you and if you’ve got any questions at all, just ask and if any of you are in any discomfort or need anything, just let me know and we’ll try and sort you out in a nice way. 

‘Couldn’t have phrased that any worse could I? But no, if you need any assistance at all, just let me know okay?

‘Right, we’ll be as we are.’   

In another video, a single police officer was filmed strolling onto the motorway as protesters sat with their hands glued to the road. 

He said: ‘Anybody organising it? Who’s the organiser here? No one?

‘Okay, I’m going to have to ask you all to move as you are blocking the highway. 

‘Anybody want to admit to being part of this?   

Junctions targeted by eco-mob this morning

The junctions targeted by climate demonstrators this morning were:

  • Junction 23 at South Mimms;
  • Main carriageway of the M25 anti-clockwise in Surrey between Junction 9 and Junction 8;
  • Junction 1b near the Dartford crossing;
  • Junction 25 on the M25;
  • A10 in Hertfordshire;
  • Junction 10 of the A3 in Surrey.

The junctions targeted by the eco-mob on Monday were:

  • Junction 3 at Swanley, Kent;
  • Junction 6 at Godstone, Surrey;
  • Junction 14 at Heathrow Airport;
  • Junction 20 at Kings Langley in Hertfordshire;
  • Junction 31, the Purfleet Interchange in Essex;

 

Mr Mackinlay told MailOnline: ‘The M25 is one of the busiest roads in the country and a key artery powering the economy of London and the South East. It is little wonder that this new group, ‘Insulate Britain’ have chosen it for their pathetic protest. 

‘Putting aside the fact that the Government has and in allocating more grant funding for the measures they are campaigning for than ever before is obviously lost on them. As a splinter group of other organisations with Marxist overtones the true nature of their protest is obvious. 

‘The police must use the powers available to them to clear this protest immediately and the courts should use their powers to grant compensation to the public and businesses affected, taking protestors to bankruptcy as necessary.’ 

MP Andrew Bridgen slammed the ‘extremely irresponsible’ demonstrators, saying: ‘They are putting people’s livelihoods and indeed lives at risk through their reckless behaviour. They don’t actually care about what’s good for the general public and they are little more than anarchists.’

James Gray added: ‘It’s a scandal and bad manners. I have long struggled for people’s rights to protest peacefully, but they must not deny the freedoms of other people. If activists stop people on the M25 from getting into work or prevent journalists from going to their offices, then they are disrupting the nation. That is wrong, and they should not be allowed to get away with that.’

Protesters held signs which said ‘sorry for the disruption’ as they clashed with drivers stuck in the queue. One motorist told LBC: ‘They are working against themselves’, while others screamed abuse telling the activists ‘we’ll lose our jobs’. One could be heard calling them ‘f**king scumbags’. 

Insulate Britain, which is demanding government action on home insulation, tweeted: ‘#InsulateBritain are back. @BorisJohnson can you hear us yet?’   

However, president of motoring insurance group AA, Edmund King, said that during the last Insulate Britain blockade, a thermal insulation engineer was prevented from going to work after being stuck in the traffic queue.

On Wednesday he said: ‘Whilst most people understand the need to take action on climate change, these motorway blockade tactics are just backfiring as they are alienating the working public stuck in this chaos and subsequently pumping out more emissions.

‘It is somewhat ironic that thermal insulation engineers trying to insulate Britain were stuck in the congestion caused by Insulate Britain. Essential deliveries, emergency services, people missing hospital and business appointments are all hit by these blockades. Hopefully the police will take immediate action to unblock the arteries of Britain.’ 

A Hertfordshire Police spokesman said: ‘We are currently dealing with an incident near Junction 1 of the A1M southbound. Officers are at the scene. The road has been closed and as a result there is some traffic congestion. Motorists are asked to please avoid the area where possible.’

M25-blocking eco-warrior calling for better insulation ‘lives in house with the worst possible energy rating’

Roger Hallam left Extinction Rebellion to join offshoot Insulate Britain to urge residents to stop heat escaping from their properties

Roger Hallam left Extinction Rebellion to join offshoot Insulate Britain to urge residents to stop heat escaping from their properties

Roger Hallam left Extinction Rebellion to join offshoot Insulate Britain to urge residents to stop heat escaping from their properties 

An Extinction Rebellion co-founder who blocked the M25 to protest at people not insulating their homes apparently lives in a house with the worst possible energy rating. 

Roger Hallam left Extinction Rebellion to join offshoot Insulate Britain to urge residents to stop heat escaping from their properties. 

However, his 2,000 sq ft detached farmhouse has an energy rating of G and allegedly produces four times the amount of CO2 of an average household.

A 2015 report on the property in Carmarthen, South Wales, shows the ‘granite or whinstone’ walls have ‘no insulation (assumed)’ and the roof also has ‘no insulation’.

There is ‘no low energy lighting’ and the building could achieve a much better score if insulation and draught excluders were installed.

Ex-farmer Mr Hallam, 55, declined to comment when approached by The Sun, but a spokesman said: ‘This is the point – UK homes are the leakiest in Europe.

‘Millions of families are unable to afford the advice and help to insulate the building they live in.’

A woman at the site of Mr Hallam’s propety said ‘He’s my landlord but he’s not here at the moment.

‘I don’t know anything about his insulation or what he’s having done about it.’

One man said workers on the organic farm had been harvesting beans, courgettes and corn throughout the summer and were now growing kale, garlic and squashes in large grow tents and selling them as veg boxes.

He said: ‘Roger is down in London at the moment. He’s there most of the time now we never really see him much. He’s always busy with Extinction Rebellion or networking or whatever.’

In a statement, an Insulate Britain spokesman said: ‘The world is burning and burning, each year worse than the last. They are disrupting not just today or this week but the next hundred thousand years – for ever. 

‘This country is facing the greatest crisis ever and we are told to plant trees and do the recycling. We can take the lies no longer. We are not stupid. We are not children. We will no longer tolerate this dishonesty. We demand credible action now.

‘Proper jobs for hundreds of thousands of people to start the first real step – to insulate all the homes of this country – which pound for pound gives us the biggest reduction in carbon emissions.

‘It is a total no-brainer and yet this Government refuses to get on with the job. This is criminal negligence.

‘We have decided there is something more important than our fears. We have a quiet, iron determination now. We are here to do our duty – to fulfil our responsibilities to our grandparents and their parents who gave their lives to preserve our way of life. To our children and the next thousand generations who will curse us for eternity if we do not act.

‘We will keep going until the Government responds.’

The activist speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari said: ‘The United Nations have made it very very clear that humanity is in a code red, which means that emissions – global emissions – are rising. I do believe that insulating the housing stock of the UK is the most cost-effective way to reduce those emissions.  

‘History has shown that breaking the law peacefully and causing disruption – with Martin Luther King, the Suffragettes and Gandhi – that these are the most effective tactics to get change to happen quickly.’ 

The failure of police to immediately arrest protesters who blocked five junctions of the M25 for up to four hours sparked fury this week. 

Yesterday Richard Madeley accused the original M25 eco mob of ‘fascism’ for ‘blocking out reality’ in an angry clash with an activist – as motorists trying to haul away protesters were called ‘heroes’ amid anger at the slow police response. 

Electrician Liam Norton, 36, who did not take part in the protest but was one of the organisers, went head to head with the Good Morning Britain host yesterday morning as he attempted to justify the disruptive roadblocks as a means of protecting the planet. 

He said: ‘Why do you think grannies are on the road yesterday? Why do you think that’s happening? This is the way that has been proven to force the Government to act… the Government is not looking after their citizens, Richard.’

But Mr Madeley rejected the argument, saying: ‘You’re blocking out reality, aren’t you? You’re only seeing one aspect of reality. You’re ignoring the reality of the individual. 

‘You’re seeing the reality of the state, and that’s fine, but you’re seeing it at the expense of the reality of the individual, and that’s fascism, I’m afraid.’ 

A video has emerged of officers protecting the law-breaking activists while dragging away an irate and incredulous driver who decided to take the law into his own hands. The unnamed motorist tried to pull activists off the sliproad, believed to be at junction three for Swanley, Kent, as another man repeatedly yells at a policeman: ‘I just don’t understand why you won’t move them’.

The driver trying to break-up the protest and tear down banners was then dragged away by officers who then returned to guarding the members of Insulate Britain.

A second video showed another motorist trying to clear protesters at junction 20 of the M25 at Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, leading some people to call him a ‘hero’ – although others warned about the dangers of vigilantism. 

There was also disruption and long queues at junction six for Godstone in Surrey, 14 for London Heathrow Airport, 20 for Kings Langley in Hertfordshire and 31 for Purfleet in Essex near the Dartford Crossing. There have been 92 arrests so far.

Surrey Police arrested 35 activists for a range of offences including highway obstruction – but all have now been released. A total of 15 were released on conditional bail while the rest were released pending investigation. 

No one has yet been charged, with the force saying they are collecting witness testimonies and dashcam footage to ‘progress the investigation’. 

Insulate Britain confirmed that electrician Liam Norton was not among those arrested. 

A protester from the group Insulate Britain is arrested by police after being removed from the M25

A protester from the group Insulate Britain is arrested by police after being removed from the M25

A protester from the group Insulate Britain is arrested by police after being removed from the M25

Handout photo issued by Insulate Britain of protesters taking part in blocking the M25 motorway in London

Handout photo issued by Insulate Britain of protesters taking part in blocking the M25 motorway in London

Handout photo issued by Insulate Britain of protesters taking part in blocking the M25 motorway in London

Protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

Protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

Protesters from the group Insulate Britain blockade the M25 at Junction 23 for the A1 this morning

More than 80 climate anarchists set up roadblocks on the M25 during rush hour today for the second time this week in an apparent bid to force action to reverse climate change and save the planet

More than 80 climate anarchists set up roadblocks on the M25 during rush hour today for the second time this week in an apparent bid to force action to reverse climate change and save the planet

More than 80 climate anarchists set up roadblocks on the M25 during rush hour today for the second time this week in an apparent bid to force action to reverse climate change and save the planet

Motorists held up by eco-mob on motorways share their fury – including a woman on the way to see her daughter who was in labour 

It took police two-and-a-half hours to clear the climate protesters from the five locations today as an eco-mob caused chaos by holding up rush hour traffic on the M25, A3 and Dartford Crossing. 

One woman revealed how she was on the way to see her daughter, who had just gone into labour, when she was caught up in the protest. 

LBC reporter Rachael Venables said the woman was stuck while on the way to pick up her grandchild and take her to the hospital. 

Another woman took to Twitter to express her frustration, writing: ‘Thank you #InsulateBritain . Now I can’t get to work to teach the young people you say you’re protecting.’

Also among those held up shortly after 8am was an NHS worker trying to get home after a night shift.

Jay told LBC: ‘I’m exhausted. I’m not happy with the situation.’

Pharmacist Graham Weidle said: ‘I need to open a pharmacy in Soho. We all support climate change, we all support sustainability and we all support a more regenerative way of life. But this doesn’t help.’

One motorist on Twitter said his nurse wife was trying to get her elderly mother to an urgent hospital appointment but was being held up by ‘these muppets’.

An angry cafe owner meanwhile turned down cash from members of the group after they had a whip round.

The man claimed he had lost business because of Insulate Britain, prompting each protester to give him £10.

However, the furious owner refused to take the cash, leading to a row just off the busy motorway.

He said: ‘You can’t have a whip round for me. What about the other thousands of people that are on the motorway? You’ve destroyed all their businesses.’ 

Another frustrated driver said: ‘Can this protest on the M25 just not?? Both days we have travelled and are traveling and they do it both those days.’

While a male driver said: ‘You know the people stuck on the M25 due to protests. I’m one of them. Have just had my most public ‘toilet’ ever, but took a standing ovation from the traffic jam and the rubber neckers!’ 

 

Police then tackled the driver as people took to social media to praise him and criticise the officers who dragged him away

Police then tackled the driver as people took to social media to praise him and criticise the officers who dragged him away

Police then tackled the driver as people took to social media to praise him and criticise the officers who dragged him away 

An irate driver who had enough of the queues on the M25 took the matter into his own hands and began moving protesters with links to XR and grabbing their banners

An irate driver who had enough of the queues on the M25 took the matter into his own hands and began moving protesters with links to XR and grabbing their banners

An irate driver who had enough of the queues on the M25 took the matter into his own hands and began moving protesters with links to XR and grabbing their banners

Obstruction of a British road ‘without lawful authority or excuse’ is an offence under Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980, with a punishment of a fine and up to six months in prison. Yet at Junction 14 of the M25, close to Heathrow, it took four hours to arrest the activists and reopen the road at one of the busiest stretches of motorway in the UK.

With police again accused of being too scared of tackling climate change activists, one critic tweeted: ‘Public servants stand by while the public do the job they are paid for. This bl**dy country at times is just beyond. They were happy to arrest people for going for a walk or stopping on a bench for a coffee’. 

Another wrote: ‘If the police won’t enforce the law then that leaves no choice but to do it ourselves. These climate change imbeciles have no legal basis upon which to block the highway especially as such nonsense could potentially hold up emergency services and cost lives’.

Officers from Kent, Surrey, Essex, Hertfordshire and the Metropolitan Police dealt with the incidents that caused delays of up to four hours at rush hour. Many questioned why it took up until Midday to break-up protests that began at 8am. 

A former chief constable said the protest was ‘extraordinarily dangerous’, while motorists – some of whom were stuck in traffic for three hours with young children – said it was ‘madness’, with one urging police: ‘Move them.’

The Metropolitan Police said it took action ‘to ensure disruption was minimised’ while the Hertfordshire force insisted it ‘quickly mobilised resources to the scene’.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘This action is not only incredibly dangerous in potentially putting lives at risk, but it also backfires in environmental terms by causing more delays and more vehicle emissions.

‘These are some of the busiest sections of the M25 where tens of thousands of drivers will have been affected and it has a negative knock-on effect on economic activity.’

A Surrey Police spokesman said: ‘We were called to Junction 6 and Junction 14 of the motorway just after 8am following reports that a number of people were protesting on behalf of Insulate Britain.

‘A total of 35 people were arrested on suspicion of various offences, including public nuisance, obstructing the highway and conspiracy to cause danger to road users. They were taken to custody, with 15 released on conditional bail while the rest have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.’ 

The mob included an organic farmer who compares himself to Mahatma Gandhi, a puppeteer, a vegan ‘business coach’ and a ‘rebel’ IT project manager. 

Farmer Roger Hallam, 55, who helped found Extinction Rebellion, before leaving to joining protest organiser Insulate Britain, wants to ‘bring down all the regimes in the world’, starting with Britain, and believes those running society ‘should have a bullet through their heads’. 

Steve Gower, 54, pictured in a 'Team Corbyn' T-shirt from Gloucester, is one of the ringleaders of yesterday's protests

Steve Gower, 54, pictured in a 'Team Corbyn' T-shirt from Gloucester, is one of the ringleaders of yesterday's protests

Steve Gower, 54, pictured in a ‘Team Corbyn’ T-shirt from Gloucester, is one of the ringleaders of yesterday’s protests

Liam Norton

Liam Norton

Zoe Cohen

Zoe Cohen

Liam Norton (left), 36, an electrician; and Zoe Cohen (right), 51, a self-employed mother, are both part of Insulate Britain

Puppeteer and business guru… activists behind stunt

ORGANIC FARMER

Roger Hallam, 55, helped set up XR but left to advise Insulate Britain, which launched this summer. The organic farmer wants to ‘bring down all the regimes in the world’, starting with Britain, and believes those running society ‘should have a bullet through their heads’. There have been allegations of a ‘cult-like’ following for the Welshman who compares his tactics to those of heroic activists Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. He is said to have been inspired to take up climate activism after his farm in Wales went bust due to bad weather.

PUPPETEER

David McKenny, 38, from Cambridge, was one of six XR protesters who ‘doorstepped’ TV wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough, 95, at the height of pandemic after he criticised their tactics. The group posted a letter through Sir David’s door as he isolated due to his age last year. Mr McKenny was jailed for 14 days for contempt after he glued himself to the dock and filmed officials at City of London Magistrates’ Court in April. The community musician has taught puppeteering at the Royal Northern College of Music and performed it at Bath Spa University.

ELECTRICIAN

Liam Norton, 36, a London electrician who helped organise the protest, said he was ‘shocked at the lack of significant action from our Government’. He became involved in climate activism in 2018 when he helped blockade five bridges in the capital and went on to join XR’s ‘actions team’, which is responsible for planning civil disobedience. He was  convicted over blocking printing presses last year. He delayed court proceedings by gluing himself to a table. It took three hours for police to remove him and the stunt is thought to have cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds.

BUSINESS COACH

Zoe Cohen, 51, from Lymm, Cheshire, called yesterday for ‘real action’ from ministers. The vegan business coach was involved in XR’s takeover of central London last month. She said then: ‘We are more scared of the reality of what this system is doing to ending life on Earth and ending our future and our children’s future than we are of spending a night in a cell.’ She describes herself as a ‘carbon literate coach’ and ‘XR catalyser’ on social media.

IT EXPERT

Janine Eagling, 60, from London, helped to block the M25 and A13 junction yesterday. She has been involved with XR since 2018, helping to form blockades across Waltham Forest. The IT project manager describes herself online as a ‘world citizen’ and ‘rebel’ as well as a cyclist, walker and gardener. She has overseen IT projects at top universities and was part of a campaign to improve safety for cyclists in the capital.

HS2 TREE CLIMBER  

Joining the M25 road blockage by Eli Rose, 26, who spent 16 days in a tree last September to protest the HS2 rail link. 

Ms Rose lived in the tree in Parliament Square because she ‘cannot bear’ knowing her potential future children will be born ‘into a 

There have been allegations of a ‘cult-like’ following for the Welshman who compares his tactics to those of heroic activists Gandhi and Martin Luther King. He is said to have been inspired to take up climate activism after his farm in Wales went bust due to bad weather. 

Ironically, Mr Hallam owns a farmhouse which was described as ‘poorly insulated’ in an official energy performance certificate. His 2,000 sq ft farmhouse in Carmarthen, South Wales, was given the lowest possible energy rating on the certificate. It is unclear if Mr Hallam has taken steps to improve the rating since it was issued six years ago.

Asked about the certificate last night, a spokesman for the group said: ‘This is the point – UK homes are the leakiest in Europe, with many millions of families being unable to afford the advice and help needed to insulate the building they live in.’

Joining Mr Hallam was David McKenny, 38, from Cambridge, who was one of six XR protesters who ‘doorstepped’ TV wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough, 95, at the height of pandemic after he criticised their tactics. The group posted a letter through Sir David’s door as he isolated due to his age last year. 

Vegan business coach Zoe Cohen, 51, from Lymm, Cheshire, said she joined yesterday’s action to demand ‘real action’ from ministers. She was involved in XR’s takeover of central London last month. 

Ms Cohen said then: ‘We are more scared of the reality of what this system is doing to ending life on Earth and ending our future and our children’s future than we are of spending a night in a cell.’ She describes herself as a ‘carbon literate coach’ and ‘XR catalyser’ on social media. 

Janine Eagling, 60, from London, helped to block the M25 and A13 junction yesterday. She has been involved with XR since 2018, helping to form blockades across Waltham Forest. 

The IT project manager describes herself online as a ‘world citizen’ and ‘rebel’ as well as a cyclist, walker and gardener. She has overseen IT projects at top universities and was part of a campaign to improve safety for cyclists in the capital. 

Liam Norton, 36, a London electrician who helped organise the protest, said he was ‘shocked at the lack of significant action from our Government’. 

He became involved in climate activism in 2018 when he helped blockade five bridges in the capital and went on to join XR’s ‘actions team’, which is responsible for planning civil disobedience. He was convicted over blocking printing presses last year. 

He delayed court proceedings by gluing himself to a table. It took three hours for police to remove him and the stunt is thought to have cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds.

He told Good Morning Britain: ‘The government is not looking after their citizens. We are. We’ve got a plan to insulate Britain that gives you the best value for money in terms of reducing emissions. Hundreds of thousand of meaningful jobs will be created.’

Another protester, Steve Gower, 54, from Gloucester, is unemployed but describes himself as a volunteer advocate for the homeless and is an active Unite union campaigner. 

Last summer Gower was ordered to pay £267 by a magistrate after he dropped a cigarette in the street while visiting a Jobcentre. He said that the fine spiralled because he couldn’t afford the reduced fine of £75 and was told there was no opportunity to pay in instalments.  

He was joined at the M25 road blockage by Eli Rose, 26, who spent 16 days in a tree last September to protest the HS2 rail link. 

Ms Rose lived in the tree in Parliament Square because she ‘cannot bear’ knowing her potential future children will be born ‘into a world where they will have to battle through food shortages and drought.’       

Source: dailymail

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