"It wasn't one of my better moves," he said while using scissors to cut off hair that remained stuck to the road.
An Insulate Britain activist glued his face to part of London's Liverpool Street on Monday during a series of protests that brought the city's financial district to a standstill. According to BBC, Insulate Britain, formed by members of the Extinction Rebellion — which describes itself as an international "non-violent civil disobedience" movement, wants the government to insulate all UK homes by 2030 to cut carbon emissions. Protesters took to the streets of the City of London and Canary Wharf at around 8 a.m. on Monday and some of them glued themselves to the road to make it difficult for police officials to remove them.
Insulate Britain protesters have returned to the streets of London, this time targeting Canary Wharf, as it renews its roadblock campaign. pic.twitter.com/qH8g1xfNUu— GB News (@GBNEWS) October 25, 2021
Among them was Matthew Tulley, who glued his face to a busy street and ended up having to use scissors in a painful effort to snip himself free from the tarmac. As those around him used scissors to cut off hair that remained stuck to the road, Tulley admitted that it wasn't his finest moment, reports The Telegraph. "It wasn't one of my better moves," he said, and when asked if he was worried about "snipping" himself while being cut free, he added: "Well you'll find out if there's blood coming out." He was eventually hauled off by two police officers, becoming one of the 52 people arrested during the demonstrations in Bishopsgate, Upper Thames Street, Limehouse Street, and Southwark Bridge.
Sadly I fear that gluing one's head to a road can have an impact in our current political system.https://t.co/4WrGP3Mn95— Charlotte Gill (@CharlotteCGill) October 25, 2021
Tulley is currently the director of a South Yorkshire-based company called Solid Carbon Storage, which claims to "remove CO2 from the atmosphere - reversing the damage we cause." The company reportedly allows people to "offset" their carbon emissions by paying to bury charcoal at the bottom of a quarry. However, environmental groups have criticized such carbon offsetting projects as not being an adequate solution in the fight against climate change. Last year, Greenpeace said that "the biggest problem with carbon offsetting is that it doesn’t really work."
Speaking to reporters with his face glued to the road on Monday, Tulley said: "I'm trying to cut the hair by my temple because my face was totally glued, but now I've worked most of that off but the hair is still stuck. It was to make a statement that things are fairly critical, and so I was wanting to have an extreme action to reflect the extreme nature of the emergency that we're facing." Videos circulating online show members of the public shouting and pleading with the activists to allow cars to pass through. One motorist, who was filmed telling protesters that his father was going through cancer treatment, said he hoped if anyone got the disease it would be protesters' family members, so they would "know what it's like."
'How can you be so selfish?!'— LBC (@LBC) October 4, 2021
This desperate motorist pleads with eco protesters blocking the entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel asking them to move so she can get to her sick mother in hospital.
Read More: https://t.co/2zubNjd9kj pic.twitter.com/gTaPeAWg1Y
"My father needs treatment and you sit here doing this. Scum. I hope if anyone gets cancer, I hope it's your parents," he said. Meanwhile, Insulate Britain head Liam Norton said in a statement that the group understands the public's frustration. "They should know that one way or another this country will have to stop emitting carbon. We can do that now in an orderly, planned way, insulating homes and preventing thousands of deaths from fuel poverty or we can wait until millions have lost their homes and are fighting for water or starving to death," he said, reports Independent.
"This treasonous government has betrayed the public. It is actively following a path that will lead to the death of millions – that's genocide. If you know this and are not joining non-violent civil resistance then you are complicit. We can't be bystanders. Short-term disruption or genocide – that's your choice," Norton added. The latest protests followed a 10-day break from the group following weeks of protests in various busy roads and motorways across London and Kent. A new temporary injunction has now been granted against the group although previous injunctions have failed to put a stop to the protests.
Meanwhile, Insulate Britain spokeswoman Tracey Mallaghan said that while she is "gutted" the group has returned to the roads to "irritate people," the public should question why the government isn't taking "necessary action" to defend the country against the climate crisis. "I understand, more than most, that money is tight and many people are struggling and stressed beyond belief," she said. "It's hard to see the bigger picture when you are anxious about putting food on the table but stop and think for a moment."