'Major' M25 disruption as Insulate Britain protesters walk into oncoming traffic

Insulate Britain activists have changed their protest tactics – heading towards oncoming traffic on the M25.

The group said the decision to stop sitting in the middle of the streets to block vehicles was made after “feedback” that many drivers were frustrated with their actions.

On Friday morning, demonstrators briefly drove into the lane near exits 28 and 29 of the motorway to walk the white lines along the lanes.

However, Essex Police said the officers “rushed” to the scene and 10 activists were removed from the street and arrested, with both lanes reopening within 30 minutes.

The new tactics were used for the group’s 17th day of action, when protesters threw ink on their faces from angry drivers.

On Twitter, the group said: “14 ordinary people from Insulate Britain caused major disruptions on the M25 by entering the lane between the lanes of oncoming traffic. We demand @ 10 Downing Street keep working # Isolate UK starting with the homes of the poorest in the country. ”

A spokesman for the group, who gave his name as Biff, said security was “of the utmost importance” and the protests would not have continued if the cars had not slowed down enough.

“The intention is to enter the lane and walk along the white lines to the oncoming traffic,” he told the PA news agency before the protest.

“If the cars don’t slow down and race along at full speed, we will be on the hard shoulder with our warning sign with the banners.

“We would hope that it will still be slower.

He added, “We have received feedback that people are frustrated that they spent time in traffic lines.

“It’s like a rolling line of traffic, so we’ll move, and once they’re in front they can keep going.

“We don’t plan to stop the traffic, but it could slow down to five miles an hour.

Insulate Britain admitted that it knowingly violated a High Court injunction designed to prevent its disruptive activities.

Those who break the injunctions could face court disregard and face a maximum sentence of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

Since September 13, activists have blocked roads for 17 days, causing suffering to drivers stuck in long traffic jams.

Following Friday’s demonstration, Essex Police Chief Inspector Lee Devall said, “Not only will incidents of this type be frustrating for road users trying to get to their destination, but it is also extremely dangerous to get into fast moving traffic.

“Today I would like to thank the road users for their patience and understanding.

“They helped us clear the area quickly, keep people safe, minimize disruption and keep Essex moving.

“We will continue to deal vigorously with these incidents.”

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