Insulate Britain: Around 50 protesters glue hands and feet to road outside parliament

‘This is where I have to be,’ one 73-year-old environmental activist says, with hand stuck to ground

Zoe Tidman,Thomas Kingsley
Thursday 04 November 2021 12:30
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Insulate Britain protesters glue hands and feet to road outside parliament

Around 50 Insulate Britain protesters have glued their hands and feet to the floor as they sat in the street outside the UK parliament.

Demonstrators blocked two roads Parliament Square on Thursday morning, with police working to remove protesters who had stuck themselves to the ground.

The Metropolitan Police said officers had arrested 34 people in connection with the protest.

Climate activists wearing orange high-vis jackets sat cross-legged in the road during the demonstration. Many glued themselves to the road.

One woman’s hand could be seen bleeding, while another protester was taken away by officers after gluing his hand to a police van.

Another man jumped onto a Met van and held an “Insulate Britain” banner in the air from the top of the vehicle.

Insulate Britain activists glue themselves to ground outside parliament

Thursday’s action comes after Insulate Britain activists blocked other roads across the country this week, including in Manchester and Birmingham. An attempt to block the M25 was thwarted by police who arrested demonstrators.

One activist outside parliament, 73-year-old Peter Morgan, told The Independent his hand had been glued to the road for about an hour.

“I’m very concerned about the climate and the ecological emergency. I don’t think our government is doing nearly enough,” the retired software engineer said.

“This is place I have to be,” he said while sat on the street outside the House of Commons.

Insulate Britain said 62 members sat on the ground on the southeast of Parliament Square, on Bridge Street, and at peers’ entrance to the Houses of Parliament on Thursday.

Police carry a protester away during the parliament demonstration

The Metropolitan Police said a “number of activists” were blocking traffic during a protest in Parliament Square in the morning.

“Around 40 activists have used superglue to stick to the ground, frustrating and delaying our response,” the force tweeted.

“Specialist teams are on scene and train for this scenario. They are working to remove any glue and make arrests.”

The Met said this “can take time”.

The force added: “Insulate Britain have the right to assemble and protest, however they do not have the right to cause serious disruption to London and prevent others from going about their business.”

Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons speaker, said Tory MP Darren Henry was “trapped outside” because activists had “blocked the access to the house” on Thursday.

“This is totally unacceptable. This is interfering with democracy,” he said.

Insulate Britain protesters gather outside parliament

Speaking to The Independent outside parliament, Liam Norton, the head of Insulate Britain, said activists were there to “ensure the government gets on with the job”.

“The people destroying democracy are the people inside parliament at the moment,” he added.

Bridge Street appeared to have been cleared shortly before midday following the Insulate Britain protest.

The environmental protest group have become increasingly active since summer, blocking busy roads - including motorways - to demand action from the government on home insulation and domestic energy waste.

Insulate Britain protesters have been arrested for walking into oncoming vehicles and blocking access to the Port of Dover during protests in recent weeks.

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