Home West London Now eco-mob block the Blackwall Tunnel, Hanger Lane and Wandsworth Bridge

Now eco-mob block the Blackwall Tunnel, Hanger Lane and Wandsworth Bridge

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Enviro-idiots have practically shut down all four corners of London by blocking the Blackwall Tunnel, Hanger Lane and Wandsworth Bridge today while police appear to be just standing idly by – only 24 hours after the Prime Minister threatened them with six-month jail terms and unlimited fines. 

Fifty-four demonstrators from XR splinter group Insulate Britain clashed with hardworking motorists as they blocked major routes into the capital during rush hour, causing huge tailbacks on what is the group’s eleventh day of protests in recent weeks. 

Tensions flared as a van driver allegedly drove into protesters while a tearful woman who pleaded to be allowed past the eco-idiots blocking the entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel to get her cancer-victim mother to hospital lashed out: ‘How can you be so selfish?’ 

Motorists were stuck in big queues amid a fuel crisis in London and the South East so severe that Army tanker drivers are taking to the roads today to deliver supplies to beleaguered petrol stations as panic-buyers leave forecourts dry and prices soar.

Thirty-eight arrests have been made so far after police previously complained they lack sufficient powers to stop eco-protesters from bringing the M25, M1 and M4 to a standstill. They have faced intense scrutiny for failing to move the activists off the roads quickly. 

A Metropolitan Police spokesman tweeted: ‘Officers are dealing with protestors who have blocked parts of the A2, A3, A12 and A40. While the roads remain open, there is heavy disruption at all four locations with slow moving traffic while work is underway to remove those who have glued themselves onto the road.

‘So far, 38 arrests have been made for disruption of the highway and conspiracy to cause public nuisance. 

‘At approximately 0800hrs, protestors blocked the southern approach of Blackwall Tunnel. By 0809hrs police were on scene. At 0820hrs, protestors moved onto the North Circular Road near Hanger Lane and blocked the road. Officers were on scene by 0828hrs.

‘At 0845hrs, protestors obstructed the road at the junction at Lochnagar Street at northern approach of the Blackwall tunnel. Officers were on scene within minutes.’ 

Insulate Britain, which is demanding that the Government insulate 29 million homes by 2030, defied a fresh injunction which would see protesters facing imprisonment or an unlimited fine if they damage roads or glue themselves to the highway.

A spokeswoman for the eco-group said: ‘We’re more scared of what will happen when the climate crisis causes the breakdown of law and order, than we are of injunctions and prison. The Government is focussing on us rather than what’s coming down the road. They need to face up to reality.

‘If our Government really wants to do something for hard-working families it should act decisively to insulate Britain’s homes. It will help people with rising energy bills, prevent 8,500 fuel poverty deaths this winter and cut carbon emissions in the most cost-effective way possible.’ 

Today’s rush hour demo comes just 24 hours after Boris Johnson threatened to lock up activists who cause gridlocks on vital transport arteries for six months or impose unlimited fines in a bid to get tough as the Tory Party conference opens in Manchester.

It is also likely to heap further pressure on under-fire Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick, who has been batting away growing calls to resign after presiding over a litany of failures including the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by Met officer Wayne Couzens.

Scroll down for videos. 

This is the moment a van driver attempted to get round Insulate Britain protesters as they started to block the A12 at the Blackwall Tunnel

Activists from Insulate Britain climate change protest group block the Hanger Lane gyratory on the A40 junction

Activists from Insulate Britain climate change protest group block the Hanger Lane gyratory on the A40 junction

Enviro-idiots have sparked traffic chaos yet again by blocking Blackwall Tunnel

Enviro-idiots have sparked traffic chaos yet again by blocking Blackwall Tunnel

Activists from Insulate Britain climate change protest group block the Hanger Lane gyratory on the A40 junction

Activists from Insulate Britain climate change protest group block the Hanger Lane gyratory on the A40 junction 

Enviro-idiots have shut down four corners of London by blocking the Blackwall Tunnel, Hanger Lane, Wandsworth Bridge and Arnos Grove this morning

Enviro-idiots have shut down four corners of London by blocking the Blackwall Tunnel, Hanger Lane, Wandsworth Bridge and Arnos Grove this morning

A Google traffic map shows disruption on the approach to the Blackwall Tunnel this morning during rush hour

A Google traffic map shows disruption on the approach to the Blackwall Tunnel this morning during rush hour

A Google traffic map shows disruption on Arnos Grove this morning during rush hour

A Google traffic map shows disruption on Arnos Grove this morning during rush hour

A Google traffic map shows disruption on the A40 Hanger Lane this morning during rush hour

A Google traffic map shows disruption on the A40 Hanger Lane this morning during rush hour

A Google traffic map shows disruption on Wandsworth Bridge this morning during rush hour

A Google traffic map shows disruption on Wandsworth Bridge this morning during rush hour

A large queue of traffic on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach after activists from Insulate Britain blocked part of the tunnel earlier this morning

A large queue of traffic on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach after activists from Insulate Britain blocked part of the tunnel earlier this morning

Traffic on the southbound approach to the Blackwall Tunnel in London caused by eco-protesters

Traffic on the southbound approach to the Blackwall Tunnel in London caused by eco-protesters

Activists from Insulate Britain climate change protest group block the Hanger Lane gyratory on the A40 junction

Activists from Insulate Britain climate change protest group block the Hanger Lane gyratory on the A40 junction 

Police detain activists from Insulate Britain climate change protest group as they block the Hanger Lane gyratory

Police detain activists from Insulate Britain climate change protest group as they block the Hanger Lane gyratory

Police detain activists from Insulate Britain climate change protest group as they block the Hanger Lane gyratory

Police detain activists from Insulate Britain climate change protest group as they block the Hanger Lane gyratory

Insulate Britain protesters sitting on the side of the A12, Poplar, leading to the Blackwall Tunnel

Insulate Britain protesters sitting on the side of the A12, Poplar, leading to the Blackwall Tunnel

Insulate Britain: Timeline of M25 chaos that spilled on to the M1 and Dover

September 13 – 78 Insulate Britain protesters are arrested after blocking junctions 3, 6, 14, 20 and 31 of the M25

September 15 – More than 50 protesters are arrested after targeting junctions 1, 8, 9 and 23 of the M25.

September 17 – 48 protesters are arrested after targeting junctions 3, 9 and 28 of the M25, as well as the M3

September 20 – 29 protesters are arrested after blocking the M25 at junctions 4 and 18, as well as the A1

September 21 – Protesters risk death by running into moving traffic to block the main carriageway near Junction 10. Some 38 arrests are made. National Highways obtains an injunction against further protests on the M25

September 22 – Protesters burn copies of the injunction outside the Home Office, blocking the road outside the ministry. No arrests are made

September 24 – 39 protesters are arrested after blocking roads at three locations in Dover. They are all released under investigation. National Highways obtains a second injunction covering Dover

September 27 – 53 protesters are arrested for blocking a slip road at Junction 14 of the M25. They are all released under investigation.

September 28 – National Highways says it is taking ‘legal advice’ over how to enforce its injunction

September 29 – 27 protesters are arrested for blocking a roundabout at Junction 3 of the M25 on two separate occasions

September 30 – Protesters return to junction 30 at Thurrock in Essex, and nine are arrested

October 1: The group block the M4 at junction 3, the M1 at junction 1 and M25 at junction 25. Some 39 arrests

October 4: Around 50 protesters block four major roads in London – the Blackwall Tunnel, Wandsworth Bridge, Hanger Lane and Arnos Grove

Mr Johnson said: ‘This Government will always stand on the side of the law-abiding majority and ensure the toughest penalties possible for criminals who deliberately bring major roads to a standstill.

‘We will give the police the powers they need to stop their reckless and selfish behaviour. The right to protest is sacrosanct, but there is no right to inflict chaos and misery on people trying to go about their lives.’

The Prime Minister outlined his hardline stance against the backdrop of the separate road chaos caused by the ‘absolutely horrendous’ fuel crisis, which has led to a critical shortage of petrol on forecourts across London and the South East of England.

Home Secretary Priti Patel will this week unveil the crackdown on motorway protests, with tougher sentences introduced by amending the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

While National Highways has been granted injunctions to prevent people from obstructing roads, officers cannot arrest people for flouting the court orders because it is a civil not a criminal matter.

The new laws are expected to be on the statute book by the turn of the year. However, Whitehall sources remain wary that the government can only go so far in terms of restricting disruption.

An offence of ‘obstructing a highway’ already exists, but carries only a maximum fine of £1,000.

The proposed increased penalties will mean police can remand protesters in custody after charging them, and create a criminal record for them.

Insulate Britain – which is demanding the Government pay for all homes in the country to be insulated by 2030 – has brought major roads to a standstill with eleven protests in less than three weeks. Around 450 arrests have been made so far.

The Government obtained an injunction meaning anyone blocking the M25 could be found to be in contempt of court, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

So far the first injunction, taken out on September 21, has had little to no effect on the protests – and appears to have made the campaigners even more focused on causing as much disruption as possible around the capital.

The injunctions do not give the police extra powers, and instead give National Highways the ability to apply to a court to find someone in contempt of court. But this makes no immediate difference and can take months to sort.   

A senior Government source last night said: ‘We can’t have Labour councillors and crusties making life hell for mothers on the school run and van drivers making vital deliveries. The law does not currently reflect the serious disruption caused by these dangerous actions.’ 

Miss Patel said: ‘The right to protest is a fundamental principle of our democracy but we will not tolerate guerrilla tactics that obstruct people going about their day-to-day business. 

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‘That is why we will increase the maximum penalty for disrupting a motorway to an unlimited fine or up to six months in prison – or both.

‘While the Labour Party stand on the side of these so-called ‘activists’, the Conservative Party will always back the law-abiding, hard-working majority in this country.’

Amid reports of conflict between the Home Office and the DfT, sources said Miss Patel was aghast at the length of time being taken to deal with the crisis by the DfT’s highways agency. 

‘The real problem is with National Highways,’ one source said. ‘Priti is concerned that it has been very slow in responding. It has just not been quick enough.’

The proposal for a contra mundum injunction – Latin for ‘against the world’ – is believed to have come from former Solicitor General Michael Ellis QC, who was appointed Paymaster General in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle last month. Proposals for the measure are being drawn up and will be put to a High Court judge within days, the Mail understands.

Deputy Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Stephen House described the protests as ‘lunacy’ and said he feared officers’ lives are at risk dealing with the demonstrations. 

Police use a roadblock to divert traffic on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach after activists from Insulate Britain blocked part of the tunnel earlier this morning

Police use a roadblock to divert traffic on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach after activists from Insulate Britain blocked part of the tunnel earlier this morning

Police use a roadblock to divert traffic on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach after activists from Insulate Britain blocked part of the tunnel earlier this morning

Police use a roadblock to divert traffic on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel approach after activists from Insulate Britain blocked part of the tunnel earlier this morning

Insulate Britain protesters sitting on the side of the A12, Poplar, leading to the Blackwall Tunnel

Insulate Britain protesters sitting on the side of the A12, Poplar, leading to the Blackwall Tunnel

Insulate Britain protesters sitting on the side of the A12, Poplar, leading to the Blackwall Tunnel

Insulate Britain protesters sitting on the side of the A12, Poplar, leading to the Blackwall Tunnel

Fifty demonstrators from XR splinter group Insulate Britain clashed with motorists as they blocked major roads during rush hour

Fifty demonstrators from XR splinter group Insulate Britain clashed with motorists as they blocked major roads during rush hour

Insulate Britain - which is demanding the Government pay for all homes in the country to be insulated by 2030 - has brought major roads to a standstill with eleven protests in less than three weeks

Insulate Britain – which is demanding the Government pay for all homes in the country to be insulated by 2030 – has brought major roads to a standstill with eleven protests in less than three weeks

Home Secretary Priti Patel will this week unveil the crackdown on motorway protests, with tougher sentences introduced by amending the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Home Secretary Priti Patel will this week unveil the crackdown on motorway protests, with tougher sentences introduced by amending the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Enviro-idiots have shut down all four corners of London by blocking the Blackwall Tunnel, Hanger Lane, Wandsworth Bridge and Arnos Grove today

Enviro-idiots have shut down all four corners of London by blocking the Blackwall Tunnel, Hanger Lane, Wandsworth Bridge and Arnos Grove today

Fifty demonstrators from XR splinter group Insulate Britain clashed with motorists as they blocked major roads during rush hour

Fifty demonstrators from XR splinter group Insulate Britain clashed with motorists as they blocked major roads during rush hour

Police have complained they lack sufficient powers to stop eco-protesters from bringing the M25, M1 and M4 to a standstill

Police have complained they lack sufficient powers to stop eco-protesters from bringing the M25, M1 and M4 to a standstill

Arrested for a SIXTH time after being repeatedly let go: Eco-hypocrite property tycoon among repeated offenders laughing at the law 

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Joshua Smith has now been arrested six times. He was branded a hypocrite after it emerged he owned a multi-million pound property empire – but the homes had poor insulation, an issue at the heart of the group’s agenda.

The 28-year-old is heir to a £2million property empire and also has a seven-figure portfolio of his own. However, at least six homes owned by his Oldham-based company have efficiency ratings of E or F, according to the Sun.

This means the properties boast little or no insulation and also produce large quantities of extra carbon dioxide. Smith was pictured being held by police by the M25 yesterday before being led off in a police van. 

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Reverend Hewes, who once sewed up his lips in protest at the influence of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, was part of the mob blocking the M25 earlier this week despite already being arrested numerous times. 

The activist has ‘permission to officiate’ in the Diocese of Oxford although he does not have a parish.

Asked about Rev Hewes last week, a spokesman for the diocese said: ‘The actions of Rev Hewes and others, while arguably well-intentioned, have frustrated many people and we’re unclear how the actions have been productive in encouraging the urgent change required.’ 

Rev Hewes, a retired dentist, previously said the Bishop of Dorchester, Gavin Collins, who comes under the Diocese of Oxford, had told him ‘he does support issues regarding climate change and the environment but not about breaking the law’. 

‘The most recent one I saw had officers running between articulated lorries that were moving on the main carriageway of the M25,’ he told the London Assembly.

Police forces have improved in their response to the protests, sometimes managing to reopen carriageways within an hour.

National Highways – previously Highways England – and its bosses at the DfT, however, have failed to respond convincingly to a crisis about to enter its fourth week.

When first asked about how they would enforce the injunction after it was flouted on Monday, National Highways wrongly said that this was an ‘enforcement matter’ for the police. However, a day later the agency said it was ‘taking legal advice’ after realising it was up to them to haul the protesters to the High Court for potential imprisonment or a fine.

On Wednesday the injunction was breached twice more, when protesters blocked junction 3 of the M25 on two occasions.

National Highways said it was ‘working with the police to establish names of the protesters and if they have been previously arrested’, despite their identities being widely reported.

Simultaneously, the DfT claimed it could not ‘comment on the specifics around ongoing legal matters’, despite contempt of court proceedings being public. 

By Wednesday evening, however, the DfT said it was ‘already knocking on doors and serving papers to offenders who will be sent to court and could face fines or prison’.

Tory activists jeered the mention of Insulate Britain during a Cabinet minister’s speech, as one attendee called for the protesting environmentalists to be ‘locked up’.

A reference by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to ‘Insulate Britain or whatever they are calling themselves these days’ was met with boos at a fringe Maritime UK drinks reception at the Conservative Party conference on Sunday evening. 

One attendee at the Manchester reception could be heard saying ‘lock them up’ after Mr Shapps mentioned Insulate Britain, which is an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion.

The reaction came as the Transport Secretary was giving a speech about the need to build carbon emission-free ships, which he said could be used for ‘booze cruises’.

He said: ‘Here is a dirty little secret about this sector that you all know, but don’t tell those folks from Insulate Britain or whatever they are calling themselves these days – transport and aviation are often targeted because of their greenhouse gases as they are two very visible forms of transport, but actually when it comes to shipping, they (environmental groups) largely ignore it, thank goodness for that.

‘But actually UK shipping is a producer of greenhouse gases – we need to sort that out.

‘We know that we expect trade to double over the next few decades, so to get permission for maritime to continue, we need to sort it out as well.’

Mr Shapps said Britain could ‘lead zero carbon in shipping by 2050’ through technological innovation in ship building.

The former Tory party chairman added: ‘We can go on booze cruises together – but those cruises are going to be completely green, we’re going to remove all the carbon, it is going to be an eco-friendly ship that we are all going to be travelling on, and we’re going to build that ship in Britain.’

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10056407/Now-eco-mob-block-Blackwall-Tunnel-Insulate-Britain-launch-ELEVENTH-day-protests.html