More than 70 environmental protesters have been arrested after blocking traffic on Britain’s busiest highway for the second time in three days.
Insulate Britain activists staged the protest on several sections of the M25 in London on Wednesday during the morning rush hour, causing long delays.
A 50-year-old woman was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after a collision between several vehicles near one of the protests. It is not known what caused the accident.
Police said 71 people were arrested in the course of the action. It came two days after 92 protesters were arrested for obstructing vehicles on some of the busiest roads in south-east England.
Insulate Britain, which calls on the government to isolate social housing across the country by 2025, said 89 of its members blocked traffic for the second time this week.
Motorists could be seen pleading with activists to clear the road near Junction 23, where two vital road networks meet.
In a statement, Insulate Britain said drivers were right to be angry, but would continue direct action until the government commits to taking more action on the climate emergency.
He said: “We will continue until the government responds. Until he overcomes his complacency and cowardice and fulfills his first and most sacred duty: to protect the people of this land from evil.
“All we ask is that he make a public statement that we can trust – that commits to the first step, to start insulating our homes. As soon as that happens, we will be off the roads.
The group had previously said its requests were hand-delivered to 10 Downing Street on August 21, 2021, but so far the government has not responded.
Surrey Police said they made 32 arrests; 21 people were arrested by Kent police; and 18 others were detained by Hertfordshire Police around 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Some of the activists involved in Wednesday’s protest were the same people arrested after Monday’s action, LBC reported.
Footage showed protesters wearing high-visibility vests sitting on the freeway with signs saying “sorry for the disturbance” and “please turn off your engines”, as some motorists shouted curses at them.
One driver told reporters she was about to pick up her grandchild because her daughter was in labor, while another shouted that the protesters “should be shot”.
During a demonstration by the same group on Monday, five junctions of the M25 were blocked, resulting in tens of thousands of drivers being stranded in huge queues.