Organised groups are sabotaging and stealing cameras being installed across London to enforce the expansion the capital’s ultra-low emissions zone (Ulez) in the latest example of grassroots resistance to the anti-car policy. The Times has the story.
Campaigns that have sprung up to fight Ulez, low traffic neighbourhoods, clean air zones and 15-minute cities are now uniting with groups of disaffected farmers, truckers and bikers to pile pressure on ministers to reverse what they say is a “war on motorists”.
A new group calling itself U.K. Unites, which claims to bring together campaigns supported by more than 2.5 million people across Britain, is warning the Government to expect civil disobedience on a “huge scale” unless there is a change of approach.
Phil Elliott, 59, the veteran campaigner behind the initiative, said: “People aren’t bluffing. There are just so many things wrong across the country affecting so many people and stressing them out, how could there not be civil disobedience?”
The semi-retired HGV driver said the Ulez expansion might be the event that “makes the country go bang”.
He said: “People just can’t afford new cars or the charges — people like carers who are on crap wages. They’re desperate.”
A group of self-proclaimed “freedom fighters” describing themselves as the “Blade Runners” has already taken down hundreds of cameras in their campaign against the Mayor of London’s plan to extend Ulez to the outskirts of the capital by the end of August.
The extension means that nearly 300,000 motorists in boroughs from Bexley to Enfield will either have to upgrade their vehicles or pay £12.50 a day to drive into London. Sadiq Khan, who was re-elected in 2021, says the scheme will improve air quality and help to save lives, although five Tory-led councils are trying to block the plan, claiming it is unlawful.
Elliott said he believed that if the Ulez expansion went ahead, Britain would witness protests similar to those seen recently in Holland and France. “We’ve got all these people who are fed up being ignored. You don’t need to be in power to get change, you just need pressure and numbers. We aren’t French — but there’s a lot of people saying we should be like the French.”
He warned that his group had the ability to disrupt the food supply chain and said he had already been in contact with Dutch farmers who had caused huge disorder with their protests. He said: “Farming, haulage, food supply — you name it, we cover it. Remember, people need food to eat, and the farmers are working with us.”
“Improve air quality” – even though London’s air is the best it’s ever been.
Might there be an ulterior motive, perchance?
Worth reading in full.