UK jails nine climate activists for blocking roads

Britain's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps speaks during a virtual news conference, after a COBRA meeting that was called in response to increased travel restrictions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at 10 Downing Street, in London, Britain, December 21, 2020. Tolga Akmen/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Nine British climate change protesters were jailed on Wednesday for breaching an injunction meant to prevent them from blocking busy roads as part of their campaign to raise awareness about climate change.

The protests by Insulate Britain, a group demanding that the government insulate millions of homes, have caused long tailbacks and halted traffic on roads such as the M25 motorway that encircles London, angering drivers and politicians.

Insulate Britain said the nine people, aged between 20 and 58, were convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to between three and six months in prison.

Insulate Britain launched their campaign in September, walking onto busy motorways to glue themselves to the road and stop traffic from passing. They have targetted major motorways, roads in London and the Port of Dover.

Britain's transport minister Grant Shapps said every motorway and major A road was covered by injunctions preventing people from blocking the road. "Anyone who causes misery to mostorists may face prison," he said.

Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by Estelle Shirbon

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