The founder of Extinction Rebellion has admitted he would block an ambulance carrying a dying patient to hospital.
Roger Hallam said he would block a patient needing life-saving care in response to footage of a woman begging Insulate Britain campaigners to let her pass through their roadblock outside the Blackwall Tunnel today.
The distressed woman can be seen pleading with activists to move so she can follow an ambulance rushing her 81-year-old mum to hospital.
Speaking on The London Economic Podcast, Hallam confirmed he too would have blocked her way.
He said he would have “stayed there” and confirmed he wouldn’t move even if the emergency vehicle was carrying a dying patient.
He added: “What we’re talking about is the loss of people’s pensions in the next ten years, the loss of people’s incomes, the mass migration of hundreds of millions of people, the indescribable injustice to people of colour in the global south because of the collective selfishness of people in the north.
“We’re talking about the biggest crime in human history imposed by the rich against the global poor.”
The protesters have glued themselves to the road and blocked both sides of the Blackwall Tunnel tunnel on the northbound A102 resulting in traffic chaos for rush hour drivers.
Crouching down to where they sat on the ground the woman pleaded: “We all believe on what you’re doing but I just need to get to my mum… everybody agrees with you.”
When she asked why they were at the tunnel one of the protestors replied: “No one is doing anything.”
The woman branded them ‘selfish’ adding: “But that’s not my fault! And my mum is the one in an ambulance on the way to hospital!”
Protests across the capital have flared tempers with drivers at Wandsworth Bridge dragging demonstrators along the tarmac to make a gap to drive through.
A group at the Blackwall Tunnel was nearly mowed down by a van driver as he tried to drive around them.
Thirty-eight people have been arrested on suspicion of disrupting the highway and conspiracy to cause public nuisance, the Metropolitan Police said.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the Met wrote: “We consider protests of this nature unreasonable and are acting as quickly as possible to minimise disruption caused to members of the public using the roads.”
This latest Insulate Britain protest is the latest in a series that have seen them bring traffic to a standstill on the M25, the M4 and at the port of Dover.
The group, calling for all homes in the UK to be insulated by 2030, carried out ten protests in three weeks.
Mr Johnson claims he will be looking after the majority of the public with new legislation after it was reported that some people caught up in the traffic mayhem were not able to carry out vital journeys including taking people to hospital.
It is a dramatic about turn for the Prime Minister – who once said he’d lie down in front of bulldozers to stop Heathrow Airport’s third runway.
He has acted after police complained that they didn’t have sufficient powers to remove the eco-protesters.
“This Government will always stand on the side of the law-abiding majority and ensure the toughest penalties possible for criminals who deliberately bring major roads to a standstill,” he said.
“We will give the police the powers they need to stop their reckless and selfish behaviour. The right to protest is sacrosanct, but there is no right to inflict chaos and misery on people trying to go about their lives.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to introduce tougher punishments for motorway protests by amending the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
Ms Patel said: “The right to protest is a fundamental principle of our democracy but we will not tolerate guerrilla tactics that obstruct people going about their day-to-day business.
“That is why we will increase the maximum penalty for disrupting a motorway to an unlimited fine or up to six months in prison – or both.”
Currently police cannot arrest protesters who break National Highways rules because they are civil and not criminal cases.
Anyone under current law who obstructs a motorway can be fined by a maximum of £1,000 but new rules could see protesters put in custody and given a criminal record.
It comes as the government took out a fresh injunction aimed at preventing climate activists from blocking roads.