Vandalism against a low-traffic neighbourhood in Hackney, east London, in 2020. Credit: Hackney Cyclist/Twitter
Furious motorists are using an encrypted messaging app favoured by terrorists to recruit “serious contenders not keyboard warriors” for an “uprising” against low-traffic neighbourhoods, an investigation by our sister title LondonWorld has revealed.
Among the plots being discussed on Telegram – used by ISIS to recruit fanatics for the 2015 Paris attack and 2016 Brussels bombings – are plans to continuously blast music at councillors’ houses and block roads with raucous street parties.
Low-traffic neighbourhoods - which prioritise pedestrians and cyclists over cars - were rolled out during the coronavirus pandemic, to allow people to travel safely.
Supporters say they are essential to tackling pollution and climate change, by encouraging Londoners to take more sustainable transport.
However, vigilante drivers - who claim the closure of residential roads has gridlocked main roads in London - are now threatening to take matters into their own hands.
The madcap schemes were uncovered as part of a two-week LondonWorld investigation, which saw undercover reporters infiltrate a series of anti-LTN groups on social media.
Users in one group shared chilling real-time updates on the locations of senior Hackney council officials – including mayor Philip Glanville and transport boss Mete Coban.
A picture taken from a parked car showed the duo deep in conversation with four female colleagues.
The caption read: “They are on Stoke Newington Church street.”
One user replied with a plea for a vehicle to mount the pavement, hinting at an ISIS-style truck attack.
He wrote: “If only a council dust cart could mount the pavement now.”
Another wrote: “Wish I was there.”
Another popular post on the group saw activists agree to organise “uprisings” over Telegram, after being told to “be careful” when discussing plots in public.
One prolific member – who LondonWorld cannot name for legal reasons – called for an “uprising” over the controversial traffic schemes.
He wrote: “They can’t keep inflicting misery on us.
“There needs to be an uprising.
“I’m looking for serious contenders not keyboard warriors. “Pro action is required now!”
After ‘liking’ a comment warning him to “be careful what is said”, the user agreed to organise the noise-blasting campaign over Telegram, saying “louder the better. Msg me when.”
Within 12 hours, he revealed that he’d finalised plans for a raucous street party outside a councillor’s house.
He wrote: “Ok we are going to organise a parklet party on [REDACTED].
“I’m bringing the music.
“Bring and share drinks and snacks.”
LondonWorld passed on information to Hackney Council, which was the target of the vigilantes.
You can read the full version of this story on LondonWorld
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