Activism

Insulate Britain 'won't be returning to the roads' suggests activist released from prison

The group has not blocked roads since nine of their members were jailed last year - and one says there will be 'something new on the cards'.

Insulate Britain

Insulate Britain block the road outside the Home Office in September 2021. Image: Insulate Britain

Insulate Britain will not return to the roads in its current form, a member of the group jailed for blocking the M25 has said.

Student Louis McKechnie, who was released from prison on New Years’ Eve, instead suggested the group will be employing different tactics this year.

“I’m not sure we’ll be returning to the roads as Insulate Britain. However, there will be something new on the cards,” McKechnie told The Big Issue.

But McKechnie, 21, would not reveal further details on what is coming next for the group, simply saying: “There will be a wide range of tactics at play. But I’m not here to talk about what’s coming next.”

Insulate Britain blocked roads throughout the autumn to demand the government insulate homes – a demand its members say will save thousands of lives a year if met.

McKechnie was among nine of the group’s activists jailed in November for breaking an injunction by blocking the M25.

He served half of a three-month sentence, and was released along with fellow activist Ana Heyatawin.

The group has not blocked roads since the jailing of its activists in November. In December, a court heard that police believed its activities would resume this spring.

McKechnie invited people “to go to the Insulate Britain website and go to one of our talks every Sunday 4pm called ‘our responsibilities at this time’. It will let you know what’s happening next, and how to get involved.”

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A further group of Insulate Britain activists are due to be released on Friday.

Despite his reluctance to reveal more of the group’s future tactics, McKechnie said his stint in prison has made him more committed to the climate cause.

“I feel a lot more dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to fight the climate crisis at this point,” he continued.

“I was going into prison and thinking maybe I’ll go back to university and continue my degree. I’ve come out, basically, with my view reinforced that action has to happen now.”

He added: “And if it’s not us, who is going to do it? And if we don’t do it now, when are we going to do it? Because it has to be us and it has to be now.”

A spokesperson for Insulate Britain told The Big Issue they were not aware of any plans to not return to the roads, and said they believed the group’s campaign was ongoing.

“We are aware people involved in the campaign have been regrouping and there are discussions about what to do next,” the spokesperson said.

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