Just Stop Oil protesters arrested for disrupting M25 as officer injured in lorry crash
The activist group claimed that 'approximately 15' people associated with their cause scaled several gantries on one of UK's most important roads
LONDON, UK: Just Stop Oil protesters have continued to demonstrate against new fossil fuel licensing and production as they disturbed parts of M25 in the UK. The environmental activist group reportedly claimed that “approximately 15” people associated with their cause scaled several gantries in “multiple locations” on one of the most important roads in Britain, forcing authorities to stop moving traffic. A police motorcyclist was hurt in a collision which also involved two lorries at a rolling roadblock, reports said.
The protest comes as the COP27 climate summit is held in Egypt. The disruption also led to the arrest of 16 protesters by Metropolitan police with the help of Essex police, Surrey police and Kent police. It has also been reported that ahead of the protest that started on Monday, cops arrested seven people for “conspiracy to intentionally or recklessly cause public nuisance” — a new offence under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, The Guardian reported.
Besides, Surrey Police said, “Officers are proactively patrolling the rest of the M25, as they have been all week.” However, in a statement, Just Stop Oil has opposed the new law as it said, “We will not be intimidated by changes to the law, we will not be stopped by private injunctions sought to silence peaceful people. Our supporters understand that these are irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter, the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities.”
The work and pensions secretary, Mel Stride, initially seem not to agree with Just Stop Oil demonstrators as he reportedly stated, “I do think there’s a major issue when individuals can go on to motorways or even just outside parliament, in fact, periodically, at will, just sit down in the middle of the road and disrupt the traffic – sometimes, indeed, emergency services get caught up in that as well.”
But later, he added: “Well, they do in [a] sense. Couple of points … one is, absolutely, we are all determined, and this government above all else is absolutely determined, to bear down on the use of fossil fuels. Second point I would make is that we do have to strike the right balance between the right of individuals to express their opinion and protest, which is absolutely fundamental to a civilized democracy – which is what we have in our country – and, at the other time, making sure that we don’t inconvenience the public or indeed endanger the public in some circumstances.”
The November 8 protests happened after one demonstrator named Louise shared a video on Twitter while saying, “I'm here because I don't have a future. And you might hate me for doing this, and you're entitled to hate me, but I wish you would direct all that anger and hatred at our government.”
🦺 Louise, 24: “I'm here because I don't have a future. You might hate me for doing this, but I wish you would direct all that anger and hatred at our Government. They are betraying young people like me — I wouldn't have to be here if they did their duty.”#FreeLouis #FreeJosh pic.twitter.com/iRfUqUuRRc— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) November 7, 2022
“They are betraying young people like me. I wouldn't have to be there if they did their lawful duty to their own citizens. Why does it take young people like me – I'm on a f*****g gantry on the M25 – for you to listen?” the 24-year-old added.