Further arrests have been made after members of Insulate Britain blocked roads for a thirteenth time, despite injunctions granted by the High Court.
Clashes ensued between protesters and angry motorists on Wednesday morning, with demonstrators being dragged out of roads near a busy industrial estate in Essex.
Around 20 protesters blocked the junction to St Clements Way and London Road, in Thurrock, forcing multiple vehicles including HGVs to stop and turn round.
Vehicles blasted their horns and members of the public got out of their cars to confront protesters, who lay down in the roads in front of them.
Some were physically dragged out of the road but immediately returned, only to be dragged away again by the frustrated drivers.
Responding to the incident, Essex Police said: “We are currently on scene and have made arrests following reports of people blocking the slip road of the M25 in Thurrock.
“We received reports of people on the road at Junction 31 shortly after 8.25am today.
“Officers were at the scene within five minutes and are currently working to resolve the situation quickly and safely. Arrests have been made.
“We know this will be frustrating for people caught up in traffic but we appreciate your patience and understanding.”
The group has blocked parts of major roads around London, including the M25 and M4, to draw attention to climate change.
Transport for London (TfL) was previously granted High Court injunctions against the group to prevent them further obstructing traffic – which apply to 14 locations around the capital.
The injunctions were extended to the end of next month on Tuesday, prompting members of the group to burn the court orders outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.
Dr Diana Warner, an Insulate Britain supporter, said: “Many people are going out of their way to thank us. Some come out of their cars to thank us, some are police officers involved with our arrests.
“To them, we bring hope – we haven’t yet given up. We are still pushing for life-saving changes.”