Ten members of Insulate Britain have been arrested after walking into oncoming vehicles on a motorway as part of their 16th protest.
A total of 14 demonstrators in several locations took to the M25 to walk on the white lines between the lanes of traffic as part of its campaign of nonviolent civil resistance that has taken place over the past six weeks.
Members are demanding action from the government on home insulation to cut domestic energy waste, a key contributor to the climate crisis.
The group believe insulating Britain to be the “best first step” in cutting carbon emissions – as well as avoiding 8,500 fuel poverty deaths and helping struggling families pay their energy bills over the winter months.
Liam Norton from Insulate Britain said: “In a couple of days Cop26 will start in Glasgow and the eyes of the world will be on this country. Britain should be leading the world with radical plans to decarbonise our society.
“What we have instead is a budget that is yet another act of treason by this government upon its own people. It is a plan that facilitates mass murder. The citizens of this country should be in open revolt. We need change and we need it quickly.
He added: “It is clear that this government has no intention of getting on with the job that they were elected to do. No intention of protecting the country from climate collapse. Our children’s futures have been trashed. Our country sold out. We have been betrayed by the traitors now in power.
“We ask all decent ordinary people to join us, to rise up and take part in nonviolent civil resistance against tyranny.”
Pictures show some protesters walking along the motorway toward oncoming traffic, while others lie down in the lanes to block vehicles on approach – actions described as “extremely dangerous” by Essex Police.
The action follows this the Chancellor’s budget and spending review announced this week.
It was reported that in his budget speech Rishi Sunak failed to use the word “climate” even once, and said he would cut the rate of air passenger duty on domestic flights and freeze fuel duty for the 12th year running.
Tracey Malligan from Insulate Britain said: “I wish I didn’t have to cause disruption, but nonviolent civil resistance is the only thing that will get the job done, it is the only thing that has a hope of working within the short time that we have.
“Within a few years, we will face rising levels of disruption, chaos and tragedy. Extreme weather, floods and crop failure are just the start. Do you have any idea what happens to society and law and order when the food runs out? It’s going to get ugly. Vulnerable elderly folk, families with kids and the disabled will be the first to die.
“It’s time to stop passively expecting your government to take care of this. They do not have your best interests at heart. It’s time to get off the sidelines and join us.
“Its black and white – we either resist this criminality or we are complicit in it.”
Essex Police were called around 8am on Friday morning with reports that a number of people had been seen walking into the traffic to block both carriageways between Junctions 28 and 29.
Officers removed people from the road and both carriageways were reopened within 30 minutes. Police made total of 10 arrests.
Chief Inspector Lee Devall said: “Not only will incidents of this nature be frustrating for road users trying to reach their destination, walking into fast moving traffic is extremely dangerous.
“I’d like to thank road users today for their patience and understanding. You’ve helped us to clear the area quickly, to keep people safe, minimise disruption, and keep Essex moving.
“Our teams are experienced at dealing with incidents which cause significant disruption and are well prepared for them.”
“We will continue to deal with these incidents robustly.”
It comes as Cop26 is set to begin on Sunday in Glasgow, where 196 world leaders and some 20,000 delegates will come together to commit to reducing carbon emissions in hopes of avoiding a climate emergency.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies