Just Stop Oil is expected to begin two weeks of campaigning this Monday and has accused both the Government and police of “groundhog day” rhetoric as officials vow to try and prevent disruption in London. The Met Police has confirmed that in October and November, 755 Just Stop Oil protestors were arrested while 182 were charged.
The protestors are expected to target busy roads which will see them block major roundabouts, glue themselves to tarmac and march slowly in front of traffic.
A document circulated among Just Stop Oil activists advised them to target rush hour and encouraged them to be “locking on” when possible with glue, chain and bicycle locks.
The latest campaign is expected to last until at least December 14, at a time roads will be busy with only weeks until Christmas.
More motorists will also be on the roads due to commuters attempting to avoid the planned rail strikes to take place soon.
Scotland Yard is urging people not to take matters into their own hands if they are impacted by Just Stop Oil demonstrations.
Commander Karen Findlay said: “I completely understand the frustration and anger felt by the public who are seriously disrupted by a relatively small number of protesters and their deliberate tactics.”
She added: “Where activists cross the line into criminality, the Met will provide a proportionate policing response.
“We will arrive quickly, deal with the situation efficiently, remove and arrest activists as appropriate and return things to normal as soon as possible. Please do not take matters into your own hands.”
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It comes at a time when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has held a meeting in Downing Street with Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Police Minister Chris Philip as well as dozens of police chiefs to discuss what the response to Just Stop Oil should be.
Ms Braverman previously criticised the police earlier this month after the activists disrupted the M25 motorway and said she expected “a firmer line to safeguard public order”.
In reaction to speculation that Mr Sunak will announce new crackdowns on protests, Just Stop Oil released a statement which said: “Does it feel like groundhog day? Haven’t we been here before with the last two prime ministers and their home secretaries?
“They say that repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting a different result each time is a sign of madness.
“But we already know that the government is deluded and out of touch. To blindly pursue new fossil fuel extraction when the IEA [International Energy Agency], the UN and 99% of the world’s scientists have said that to do so will lead to the collapse of human civilisation is, in the words of the UN secretary-general António Guterres, ‘moral and economic madness’.”
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Protests in the past by Extinction Rebellion also led to criticism of the police, who were accused of being slow to respond to activists, but Commander Finlay has said officers in the capital are prepared for the upcoming disruption.
She said: “We have a very experienced team with robust policing measures in place to respond quickly and effectively to any incidents of serious disruption to London.
“We also have specialist officers available to deal with a range of tactics including sophisticated lock-on devices.”
However, a spokesman for Just Stop Oil has claimed that there was little officials could do to stop demonstrations as they were taking action to prevent a “climate emergency”.
He said: “Just Stop Oil supporters understand that this is irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter, the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities. Just Stop Oil is not a fashionable cause or a protest movement.
“These so-called ‘eco-zealots’ are people in resistance and they are doing what the Suffragettes did and what the Civil Rights movements did.”