Insulate Britain: Extra injunction sought after protesters block Port of Dover
24 September 2021, 08:00 | Updated: 24 September 2021, 15:57
The government is seeking an extra injunction to prevent protesters from blocking the Port of Dover, the transport secretary has announced.
Police have arrested 17 people as Insulate Britain demonstrators sit in the road to obstruct the Port of Dover, calling for a "Churchillian response" to the "urgent horror" of the climate crisis.
Grant Shapps said the government "won't tolerate reckless behaviour on motorways or ports".
"I'm therefore seeking a further injunction to prevent this disruption," he said.
"Living in a democracy everyone is entitled to protest, but that doesn't extend to closing roads and ruining livelihoods."
More than 40 people in two groups have blocked the A20 at the Eastern Docks roundabout and near the junction with Union Street for the Western Docks, Insulate Britain has said.
This has led to vehicles attempting to cross the Channel being stuck in queues.
Insulate Britain, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, wants the government to insulate and retrofit homes across the UK to cut climate emissions.
Its members have caused chaos on the M25 five times in the past fortnight and were threatened with imprisonment if they returned to the motorway.
They also held a demonstration outside the Home Office's Westminster headquarters.
One motorist queuing up at the port told Sky News: "I work with vulnerable children and I'm supposed to be in work today.
"I just think (the protesters) can do this another way."
Another motorist said: "I'm knackered, a nine-hour drive, I've travelled from Strasbourg, going to Cambridge now, and seeing this is just doing my head in."
A third driver said: "I do understand people wanting to protest, but they seriously need to think about the bigger picture."
Insulate Britain said: "We are blocking Dover this morning to highlight that fuel poverty is killing people in Dover and across the UK.
"We need a Churchillian response: we must tell the truth about the urgent horror of the climate emergency.
"Change at the necessary speed and scale requires economic disruption.
"We wish it wasn't true, but it is.
"It's why the 2000 fuel protests got a U-turn in policy and gave (Tony) Blair his biggest challenge as prime minister."
The Port of Dover is Europe's busiest ferry port, handling 17% of the UK's trade in goods.
It was used by an average of 6,200 road haulage vehicles every day last year.
The blockage comes amid disruption to supplies across the UK due to a shortage of lorry drivers.
The Port of Dover said in a statement: "Port of Dover confirms protesters are currently blocking the entrance to the port.
"Please allow extra time for your journey and check with your ferry operator for updates. The port remains open."
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