LONDON (AP) — Police arrested at least 38 environmental protesters for causing traffic misery in London during Monday’s morning rush hour after blocking a string of major routes.
The protesters, who are pressuring the British government to insulate all homes within a decade, have for weeks blocked roads in and around the capital.
The group, which is known as Insulate Britain, said around 50 people had blocked four sites in London, including the Blackwall Tunnel, one of the major routes across the River Thames in east London. Wandsworth Bridge in south London, Hanger Lane in west London and Arnos Grove in the north of the capital were also targeted.
By mid-morning, London’s Metropolitan Police said 38 arrests had been made for disruption of the highway and conspiracy to cause public nuisance. Dozens more have been arrested in previous protests.
“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,” the Met said in a statement on Twitter.
Footage across social media shows motorists venting their frustration at the protesters for blocking their way to work or even to hospitals. Monday’s protests took place at a time when many Londoners were struggling to fill up their cars at the pump because of a shortage of truck delivery drivers.
Insulate Britain has for weeks been blocking roads in and around the capital to pressure the Conservative government to insulate “all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030, and all social housing by 2025,” a policy that it says will pay dividends in the urgent battle against climate change.
The government took out a fresh injunction last week banning protesters from Insulate Britain from obstructing traffic and access to motorways and major other major 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.