Fighting broke out at Insulate Britain’s latest stunt as protesters were dragged from the road by furious drivers.
In one video, a lorry driver cold be seen inching his HGV towards environmental campaigners who were sat on the tarmac in front of him.
A number of motorists got out of their vehicles to manhandle the demonstrators, pulling them away from the slip road off junction 31 of the M25 near the Dartford Crossing in Thurrock, Essex.
A group of around six people dragged protesters away, allowing a handful of vehicles to pass through the human barricade.
“Go go go”
Drivers are taking matters into their own hands, dragging eco-protesters out of the road and ushering traffic through.
Read more: https://t.co/3n0fKpdmcZ pic.twitter.com/RhETAXeCxm
— LBC (@LBC) October 13, 2021
With no police present to mediate, fights broke out and witnesses described seeing kicking and punches being thrown.
Just before 9am, Essex Police said officers were at the scene.
A spokesman said: "We’re on scene and have made arrests following reports of people blocking the slip road of the M25 at J31 in Thurrock.
"We were called at 8.26am and officers were on scene within five minutes. We’re trying to resolve the situation as quickly and safely as possible."
The fiery Insulate Britain protest, in pictures
An Insulate Britain protester leans up against the bonnet of a car as activists sit in the slip road off junction 31 of the M25 near the Dartford Crossing in Thurrock
A motorists is one of many to take matters into their own hands by dragging an activist out of the road
The situation became fiery when a lorry (pictured) inched its way forward towards protesters in the road. Other drivers dragged the eco mob off the tarmac and off camera a fight broke out as punches and kicks flew
Two Essex Police officers haul a protester away from the road
Credit: Henry Nicholls/Reuters
Insulate Britain, an offshoot of environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion, has now staged similar protests 13 times.
The group has blocked parts of major roads around London, including the M25 and M4, to draw attention to climate change.
Transport for London (TfL) was previously granted High Court injunctions against the group to prevent them further obstructing traffic – which apply to 14 locations around the capital.
The injunctions were extended to the end of next month on Tuesday, prompting members of the group to burn the court orders outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.
Despite the arrests and frustrated responses of commuters the group said other members of the public have praised its actions.
Dr Diana Warner, an Insulate Britain supporter, said: "Many people are going out of their way to thank us. Some come out of their cars to thank us, some are police officers involved with our arrests.
"To them, we bring hope – we haven’t yet given up. We are still pushing for life-saving changes."