UK government seeks injunction against climate protestors

LONDON (AP) — The British government is seeking a legal injunction against climate protestors who blocked the entrance to Europe’s busiest ferry port Friday to highlight the climate crisis and fuel poverty in the U.K.

Vehicles were stuck in lines as more than 40 protesters from the climate group Insulate Britain blocked the main road into the Port of Dover. The English Channel port handles 17% of the U.K.’s trade in goods.

Police said officers made 39 arrests.

“We won’t tolerate reckless behaviour on motorways or ports (Dover this morning),” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter. “I’m therefore seeking a further injunction to prevent this disruption.”

The protest group, which blocked London’s orbital M25 highway on five days this month, apologized for the disruption but said it was “the only way to keep the issue of insulation on the agenda and to draw attention to how poorly insulated homes are causing ill health, misery and early death for many thousands of people.”

The group, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, has called for better insulation of U.K. homes in order to cut emissions and energy costs. Britain, like other European countries, is facing a spike in natural gas prices that is likely to cause home heating prices to soar as the U.K. heads into winter.

The British government already has a court injunction against the highway protesters, meaning the group’s members could be jailed if they block the M25 again.

The Dover blockade comes amid disruption to supplies across the U.K. due largely to a shortage of truck drivers. Supermarkets have reported a shortage of some goods, and a handful of gas stations have closed. The U.K government has urged people not to panic buy.

Environmental activists, many of them students taking time out from school, staged rallies around the world on Friday to call for tougher action on climate change.