Just Stop Oil activists climb onto gantries over M25
Just Stop Oil activists who climbed onto overhead gantries on the M25 today causing major disruption across the motorway during rush hour declared they will “do what [they] can” to support the demands of the environmental campaign. Activists of all ages shared videos on social media introducing themselves and vowing to “not stand by while humanity is on the brink of climate catastrophe”.
Charlotte Kirin, 53, a social worker, carer and parent from Bury St. Edmunds said: “In order to survive, we need to take action to stop new oil and gas. For as long as the Government pretend this isn’t the priority, I will do what I can to demand a response.
“History shows us that we have to challenge unjust laws. What is being done to people all over the globe in the name of profit is the greatest imaginable injustice. I will not turn my back on people whose lives are being destroyed for rich mens’ profit.”
Jane, 56 said: “We are on the brink of climate catastrophe, the collapse of civilization, and the loss of everything we love. And I can’t stand by and let it happen.
“The banner says it all. Just Stop Oil. We have a government that is not stepping up to a cost of living crisis, and an energy crisis — there are so many things they could be doing.”
Just Stop Oil protester on a gantry on the M25
Just Stop Oil said “approximately 15” of its supporters climbed on to overhead gantries in “multiple locations” on the UK’s busiest motorway from 7am on Tuesday, causing police to halt traffic.
The Metropolitan Police said 16 protesters were arrested in a joint operation with neighbouring forces, including Essex Police, Surrey Police and Kent Police.
Meanwhile, eight people charged with conspiracy to cause a public nuisance following protest action on Monday are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
On Tuesday, Essex Police said a protester climbed onto the gantry at junction 31, causing the Dartford Tunnel to be closed.
Congestion on the M25 because of Just Stop Oil protests
The force said: “Specialist officers were mobilised quickly and managed to bring the woman down and arrest her within 90 minutes of her being spotted.
“As a result, the tunnels at the crossing were closed but one has since reopened.”
National Highways said there were delays of an hour, with congestion for five miles.
Just Stop Oil also targeted at least six other locations on the M25.
������ Charlotte Kirin, 53, a social worker, carer and parent from Bury St. Edmunds said:
“In order to survive, we need to take action to stop new oil and gas. For as long as the Government pretend this isn’t the priority, I will do what I can to demand a response.#COP27Egypt pic.twitter.com/7dr0OpslkX
— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) November 8, 2022
The Met said it deployed “specialist removal teams” to deal with the protesters.
It urged members of the public stuck in traffic to “stay in their cars and refrain from using the hard shoulder”.
Protests took place at 13 locations on the M25 on Monday.
Police believe some of those involved in the demonstrations could have breached a High Court injunction obtained by National Highways.
Just Stop Oil protesters climbed onto overhead gantries of the M25
Just Stop Oil said in a statement: “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 Met is conducting an operation to foil the protests in conjunction with the National Police Coordination Centre.
Just Stop Oil staged 32 days of disruption from the end of September and throughout October, which the Met said resulted in 677 arrests with 111 people charged, and officers working a total of 9,438 additional shifts.
Chaos was caused on the M25 for a second day
According to the group, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested nearly 2,000 times since its campaign began on April 1, and five are currently in prison.
It warned the Government’s refusal to halt North Sea oil and gas extraction will contribute to global warming, which “will result in the collapse of ordered civil society, the loss of our rights and freedoms and the death of countless millions of people”.
Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said Just Stop Oil protesters do have a point “in (a) sense”.
He told Sky News: “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 when it was put to him that the environmental activists have a point, he said: “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 civilised 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 defendants due to appear in court on Tuesday are: Roger Hallam, 56, of Macleod Street, Walworth, south London; Tim Hewes, 72, of New Road, Charney Bassett, Wantage, Oxfordshire; Daniel Shaw, 36, of Adams Avenue, Northampton; Christopher White, 29, of Summerhouse View, Yeovil, Somerset; Karen Matthews, 60, of Sywell Road, Overstone, Northamptonshire; Ian Bates, 63, of Clarke Road, Northampton; Alexander Wilcox, 21, of Billing Road, Northampton; and Louise Lancaster, 57, of Burnt Close, Cambridge.