UK Government extends legal action against protesters obstructing A20 and strategic routes to Port of Dover

  • National Highways has secured a further interim injunction to prevent protesters from occupying the A20 and strategic roads linked to the Port of Dover
  • those who breach the injunction will be in contempt of court and at risk of imprisonment and an unlimited fine
  • ministers condemn activists for undermining their own cause, endangering lives and taking emergency services away from communities

A further injunction has been approved today (24 September 2021) by the High Court against climate activists who have been carrying out a string of disruptive demonstrations along major roads and at the vital Port of Dover, attempting to cause blockages and travel chaos for tens of thousands of people.

With immediate effect, protesters will be in contempt of court if they breach the terms of an interim injunction won by National Highways today.

Breach of the injunction can be punishable by up to 2 years in prison and an unlimited fine, serving as a deterrent for anyone thinking of rejoining the disruptive action.

National Highways previously secured an injunction against the protesters for the guerrilla tactics used by activists on the M25 and intends to return to court to extend the injunction and potentially seek additional powers of arrest.

The government’s intervention will help dissuade activists from carrying out any further disruption.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

We are absolutely committed to protecting the right to peaceful protest, but it is unacceptable that people cannot go about their day-to-day businesses and that businesses or critical supplies should be put on a knife’s edge because of the reckless actions of a few protesters.

I commend the work of Kent Police and the Port of Dover authorities today to quickly resolve the issue and keep our critical supplies moving and I will do everything to prevent these sorts of guerrilla tactics from putting people’s lives at risk and keeping our emergency services away from the communities that need them.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

The British public are rightly furious that the behaviours of a selfish minority have been putting lives at risk and causing untold disruption on our roads and now at Dover. We will not tolerate the recklessness of these few activists and the police continue to have our full support in cracking down on their dangerous behaviour.

The public and the police want officers back serving their communities and cutting crime, not dealing with people happy to put the safety and needs of others at risk.

The government is already ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030, investing billions of pounds to help industry and drivers make the switch to cleaner vehicles, and will continue its work to install thousands of chargepoints and boost the development of new technologies to meet ambitious net zero goals.

Campaign group Insulate Britain’s recent demonstrations have led to considerable disruption on one of the UK’s busiest motorways – creating a backlog of traffic and more pollution – as well as blocking the emergency services from reaching those whose lives are in danger.

Over 200 people involved with the demonstrations have already been arrested and previous actions of Extinction Rebellion – of which Insulate Britain is an offshoot – have cost the UK taxpayer £50 million.

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