Published: 09:00, 13 October 2021
| Updated: 14:54, 13 October 2021
Protesters from Insulate Britain have held up traffic on the M25 yet again, with 35 arrests made.
Approximately 40 members blocked the UK's busiest motorway at Junction 31 near the Dartford Crossing and the London Road A1090 leading towards an adjacent industrial estate just after 8.30am.
Protesters walk onto the M25
Essex Police swiftly turned up to remove the M25 blockage but it took around an hour for officers to arrive at the industrial estate.
Drivers had already moved many protesters, with the blockade only in place across the lane heading towards Purfleet Docks by the time police got there.
Some protesters had glued their hands to the Tarmac as reinforcements arrived, while others were seen being dragged away.
It is the 13th time Insulate Britain has caused disruption on motorways and A roads as part of its campaign of "civil resistance" over the past four weeks.
Two weeks ago several campaigners were arrested in three incidents at the junction, two of which happened at the Swanley interchange twice in one day. One campaigner was arrested after reportedly glueing themselves to a police car.
Ministers say legal proceedings have begun against green activists who face fines or prison for blocking the M25.
A High Court injunction obtained by the government on September 22 means anyone blocking the motorway could be found to be in contempt of court, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.
But protesters have continued to defy the message and stage more protests despite the threat of court action.
Liam Norton from Insulate Britain said: “In 10 years time when fuel crises are catastrophic, when the food has run out and when people are experiencing unsurvivable heat waves, what would you be wishing you had done now?
“We think you’ll be wishing you had sat on the road with Insulate Britain doing whatever it took to protect current and future generations. So come join us on the road.”
Dr Diana Warner, an Insulate Britain supporter, said: "Many people are going out of their way to thank us. Some come out of their cars to thank us, some are police officers involved with our arrests. To them, we bring hope - we haven't yet given up. We are still pushing for life saving changes.
“It is a big step to move from thanking us to taking action. But if you make some move to help us, however small, you will be helping us to achieve change. Please check out the website insulatebritain.com "
Insulate Britain is calling on the UK government to take responsibility for and fully fund a national home insulation programme.
It says its actions will continue until the government makes a meaningful statement indicating its intention to insulate all of Britain’s 29 million leaky homes by 2030, and all social housing by 2025.
An Essex Police spokesman confirmed 35 arrests were made and all roads are now open.
The force said: "We are currently on scene and have made arrests following reports of people blocking the slip road of the M25 in Thurrock.
"We received reports of people on the road at Junction 31 shortly after 8.25am today.
"Officers were at the scene within five minutes and are currently working to resolve the situation quickly and safely.
"Arrests have been made.
"We know this will be frustrating for people caught up in traffic but we appreciate your patience and understanding."