A CUMBRIAN activist member of Insulate Britain has been arrested outside of Parliament.
Catherine Rennie-Nash, a retired teacher and grandmother of two from Kendal, was arrested on October 12, after already being arrested the previous week and spending time in prison last month for her involvement in Just Stop Oil.
She said “I can’t be a by-stander whilst people are struggling, through no fault of their own, to pay extortionate fuel bills and choose between heating their home or feeding their family.
Thousands of people will die this winter because they cannot afford to heat their homes, and this is going to get so much worse as we head into the energy and cost of living crisis.
“The government can choose to sort this out by insulating Britain’s housing stock – that is what we’re demanding.
“It’s a no brainer, creates thousands of good jobs, reduces bills, keeps people warm and reduces emissions.
“The government just needs to get on with it.”
A paramedic from Cumbria said: “As a Paramedic I see the devastating consequences of government failure first hand.
“I attend elderly people who have died in cold, uninsulated houses. Often living in just one room to try and save on heating costs. Scared to turn the fire on.
“Chronic hypothermia sets in and they die needlessly, in one of the wealthiest nations on earth.
“This is one of the most upsetting things about it. We should be able to support these elderly vulnerable people. They should be able to live in a warm, well insulated home.
“The government, and companies making obscene profits such as Shell and BP should be ashamed.”
She was among 26 others from around the country who returned to the road under the Insulate Britain banner to stop traffic outside the Houses of Parliament, in resistance against what they describe as the Government’s ‘kill’ policies.
The blockade was timed to coincide with the Prime Minister’s arrival at the House of Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions.
Insulate Britain rose to notoriety last autumn for bringing the M25 around London to a standstill day after day for around 2 months.
They are demanding that the Government take responsibility for and fully fund the retrofitting and insulating of Britain’s homes, starting with social housing by 2025, and the entire UK housing stock by 2030.
A spokesperson from the campaign said “It has been 13 months since Insulate Britain started our campaign and we have had no choice but to return to the roads because the demand to Insulate Britain has not been met”.
Today’s roadblocks are part of the Just Stop Oil coalition’s month-long campaign of nonviolent civil resistance happening daily across central London.
National Energy Action (NEA) estimates that the number of households in fuel poverty across the UK was 6.5 million in April 2022, an increase of more than 50% in just over six months.
A spokesperson for Insulate Britain said “Insulate Britain is part of the Just Stop Oil coalition.
“Insulation is vital in lowering the UK’s demand for energy and carbon emissions and for improving energy security by reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels.
“We urge citizens to take a stand by joining the Just Stop Oil coalition’s campaign of nonviolent civil resistance happening every day throughout October, meeting at 11am outside Downing Street.
“Since Insulate Britain started over a year ago, the government has imprisoned at least 100 ordinary people for peaceful civil resistance.
“Meanwhile our government has accelerated fossil fuel exploration and licensing, they have borrowed hundreds of billions of pounds which instead of going into our pockets is going through our roofs and into the energy company’s coffers.
“We aren’t experiencing a recession in Britain right now; we’re experiencing a robbery.
“Politicians have shown that they are only interested in making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
“We have to resist them.”