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Insulate Britain Protesters

The High Court has now granted an injunction against protesters who disrupt the M25. This latest protest is about the recent increase in gas and electricity prices, with large numbers of people concerned about what will happen if they cannot afford to pay their bills.

It’s not clear exactly how many people are planning to take part in this protest, but it could be tens of thousands, which will affect people who need to get to work or go about their daily business.

The protest is aimed at the UK government, but even so, it’s important that people who need to go to work can do so. If large numbers of people are prevented from going about their day, there will be a knock-on effect on the motor trade industry as well as lots of other services and those who rely on these for their weekly income.

The police will be able to use all necessary measures to prevent people from taking part in protests. This is not just because of the disruption, but also because of what could happen if it gets out of control, a concern which the High Court considered when it made its ruling.

The injunction is against all those who might take part in, or organise the protest, anyone taking part would be breaking the law if they breached it. The protest is also taking place in a busy motorway, any accidents or incident could make things much worse, and drivers will be worried about safety, nor will they want claims made against their motor insurance policy.

How will the injunction work?

If anyone is found to be in breach of the injunction, they will be arrested. The police have powers that allow them to stop and search people, but these are only used if someone has broken the law.

It’s worth pointing out that protesters are allowed to make their point, even though it may cause some disruption, if this does not cross the line into breaking the law. The injunction does not give any specific powers, but it’s likely that if anyone refuses to move when asked by the police they would be removed.

The police also have powers under Section 14 of the Public Order Act, allowing them to remove anyone they consider to be a risk to public safety. Anyone who wilfully obstructs the police in their duty can also expect to be dealt with, and it’s an offense to use violence.

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There have been several large protests which caused disruption in the past, and some of those involved were given injunctions. The most notable was that against the convoy of lorries traveling to the Kingsnorth power station, which also affected the motor trade industry. It was stopped by people on foot or bicycles, this was not a protest aimed at businesses, but did have an impact on the local economy.

What is likely to happen next?

It’s possible that the police will enforce the injunction in a way that means that many people are arrested. If this is done, it’s likely to cause a lot of debate and criticism from those who have been detained. It’s worth remembering though that if they have broken the law, it really might be necessary to stop them from taking part in the protest.

The protestors are causing a lot of disruption, but it’s even more worrying that other large protests have got out of control in the past. Even if people take part in this protest with good intentions, their actions could result in thousands being put at risk. It may be necessary to use all possible methods to prevent them from acting in a way which may well put lives in danger.