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Watch: NHS worker begs Insulate Britain activists to stop blocking road so he can see his sick child

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 21/11/2021 Sami Quadri
Insulate Britain 21/11/2021 © Twitter Insulate Britain 21/11/2021

Disturbing footage has captured the moment an NHS worker begs Insulate Britain activists to stop blocking a busy London road so he can “get home” to his “sick” child.

In the clip, obtained by LBC, the exasperated man tells the eco-protestors that he is unwell as he urges them to stop obstructing a busy road in Vauxhall.

He says: “My child is sick. I need to get home to my child…this is really wrong. You’ve got to think about other people as well. I’m not well. How am I going to get home?”

It came as hundreds of Insulate Britain members blocked Vauxhall Bridge and Lambeth Bridge this weekend to protest jail terms given to nine members.

The jailed activists are “political prisoners” and will not be the last to be locked up, supporters have claimed.

Insulate Britain climate activists take part in a demonstration on Vauxhall Bridge in central London (PA) © Provided by Evening Standard Insulate Britain climate activists take part in a demonstration on Vauxhall Bridge in central London (PA)

The group was jailed this week for breaching an injunction designed to prevent the road blockades which have sparked anger among motorists and others affected by the protests.

A campaigner, who would only give her name as Gully, told up to 200 supporters who gathered outside London’s Royal Courts of Justice: “Make no mistake, these are political prisoners and they will not be the last.”

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The demonstrators went on to block Lambeth Bridge in central London with the Metropolitan Police saying traffic had been diverted “for the safety of all”.

Insulate Britain began a wave of protests in September and has blocked the M25 other roads in London including around Parliament, roads in Birmingham and Manchester, and around the Port of Dover in Kent.

Police remove an Insulate Britain climate activist taking part in a demonstration on Vauxhall Bridge (PA) © Provided by Evening Standard Police remove an Insulate Britain climate activist taking part in a demonstration on Vauxhall Bridge (PA)

The nine protesters were sentenced at the High Court on Wednesday after they admitted breaching an injunction by taking part in a blockade at junction 25 of the M25 during the morning rush-hour on October 8.

Ana Heyatawin, 58, and Louis McKechnie, 20, were jailed for three months while Ben Buse, 36, Roman Paluch-Machnik, 28, Oliver Rock, 41, Emma Smart, 44, Tim Speers, 36, and James Thomas, 47, received four-month sentences.

Ben Taylor, 37, was given a longer sentence of six months “to deter (him) from committing further breaches” after his submissions to the court on Tuesday were described by Dame Victoria Sharp as “inflammatory” and a “call to arms”.

The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Chamberlain said there was no alternative to custodial sentences given that the group’s actions were so serious and they had made it clear they intended to further flout court orders.

Insulate Britain has said it intends to continue the protests until the Government agrees to insulate homes.

The High Court has so far issued five injunctions to prevent protesters from blocking roads.

They include four injunctions granted to National Highways, banning demonstrations on the M25, around the Port of Dover and on major roads around London, and one to Transport for London (TfL).

TfL was granted a civil banning order aimed at preventing protesters from obstructing traffic on some of the capital’s busiest roads.

Those who breach the injunctions could be found in contempt of court and face a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

Further High Court committal proceedings are expected to be issued against other Insulate Britain protesters relating to protests on October 27.

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