Activists were reported to have glued themselves to streets and were told they could face arrest if they left a designated area.
A video shared on social media just before 11.30am showed a handful of protesters sitting and lying down in front of a long line of cars on a section of the A20, with reports that they had superglued themselves to the street.
Protesters were told they risk arrest if they tried to block the eastbound lanes giving lorries access to the ferries.
Emma Arnold, one of the protesters, claimed on Twitter that she had been told by police that she would face arrest if she left an area that had been cordoned off for the demonstrators.
Well then, definitely in the right place as I have just been issued a Section 14 breach of public order warning by police. Just for walking with my camera. If I leave the designated area, I can be arrested. #ExtinctionRebellion #Dover #Blockade pic.twitter.com/Trznq7vN8E
— Emma Arnold (@theIAE) September 21, 2019
A spokesperson for Kent police said: “A designated section of Townwall Street was closed to traffic to allow people gathered to safely and peacefully protest between 11am and 3pm. The closure is expected to be lifted in the late afternoon.
“Disruption has been kept to a minimum, with a large majority of attendees staying within the designated area. A brief closure was enforced on the A2 Jubilee Way shortly after 11am due to a small group of people obstructing the carriageway and they were safely removed within around 15 minutes. “Traffic moving in and out of Dover remained flowing throughout the day, with some levels of expected congestion. Ten people have been arrested on suspicion of public order offences and they remain in custody as enquiries continue. Ch Supt Andy Pritchard said: “Disruption from the protest has been kept to a minimum due to the work of our the officers and partners. The force is grateful to everyone who cooperated with efforts to ensure the rights of the protesters, and the wider public, were respected and it is pleasing we haven’t seen levels of disruption greater than what could be reasonably expected.”
Two lanes at the busy Kent port were fenced off and taken over by the environmental activists amid a heavy police presence, according to the Press Association.
Chris Atkins from Extinction Rebellion Dover urged the government to “tell the truth and act now”.
Atkins said: “As climate change develops, millions of ordinary Britons will face the real and growing threat of food shortages, hunger and starvation.
“Extreme storms and floods are already causing major crop failures across the world, with high temperatures also hitting livestock agriculture. This crisis may seem far away now but given the dependency of the UK on food imports we are extremely vulnerable.”
An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said the group had assessed that the four-hour blockade from 11am would not cause any disruption to vital supplies such as medicine.
He added: “Extinction Rebellion appreciates the blockade will directly affect ordinary people and businesses, but we feel the action is necessary in order to call the government to action.”