Insulate Britain blocks access to Port of Dover

·3 min read

Seventeen people have been arrested as climate protesters blocked the Port of Dover in Kent.

Insulate Britain said more than 40 of its supporters targeted the cross-Channel ferry port shortly after 8am.

Their action led to vehicles attempting to cross the Channel being stuck in queues on the A40 road, with several drivers remonstrating with the activists.

The Port of Dover said at 11.21am that traffic had resumed flowing in and out of the site.

One lane of the A20 remains blocked as two protesters are sat on top of a tanker.

They are reportedly glued to the vehicle.

The tanker is draped in an Insulate Britain banner and also has signs saying: “I want my children to survive”, and: “Arrested 4 times because I am in mourning for life on earth”.

Protesters from Insulate Britain block the A20
Protesters from Insulate Britain block the A20 (Gareth Fuller/PA)

One of the protesters on the tanker – 27-year-old Stephanie – told the PA news agency: “We do not want to be here.

“I want to be home with my family spending time with them, but if we don’t do this they aren’t going to have a future.

“The Government are not doing enough. On the current trajectory we are heading for chaos.”

The other protester, 28-year-old Josh, said: “We are here today to get the Government to insulate the houses of the UK.

“The reason being is because per-pound invested insulation is the fastest and cheapest way to reduce CO2.”

Protesters lie in front of lorries
Protesters sit in front of lorries (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Insulate Britain – an offshoot of climate group Extinction Rebellion – caused chaos on the M25 five times in the past fortnight, but they have been threatened with imprisonment if they return to the motorway after the Government obtained an injunction from the High Court.

They also held a demonstration outside the Home Office’s Westminster headquarters.

A spokesperson for the group said the speed and scale of action required to cut climate emissions “requires economic disruption” and a “Churchillian response”.

Kent Police said it was alerted to the protests at 8.20am on Friday. Seventeen arrests have been made.

The force added: “Kent Police is aware of the traffic disruption in the area and is working with partner agencies to minimise delays.”

Protesters from Insulate Britain sit on top of a vehicle
Protesters from Insulate Britain sit on top of a vehicle (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A Government spokeswoman said: “Peaceful protest is a cornerstone of our democracy and there will always be space for people to make their voices heard – but that is not on busy roads or at a vital port, putting lives at risk.

“The demonstrations we have seen over the last few weeks have wreaked havoc on our roads, disrupted thousands of people and put lives in danger and we are taking action to prevent these kinds of guerrilla tactics being used in the future.

“We thank the police for their quick and decisive action to remove the protesters and keep the port open.”

The Port of Dover is Europe’s busiest ferry port and handles 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.

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