Just Stop Oil activists dragged off the road by motorists in London | Just stop the oil

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Motorists dragged Just Stop Oil protesters away as activists halted traffic on four roads in central London on Saturday.

The group said 61 Just Stop Oil supporters stopped traffic on Charing Cross Road, Kensington High Street, Kennington Road and Blackfriars Road, “demanding the government suspend all new oil and gas permits and licences”.

They posted a series of videos on Twitter shortly after noon on Saturday, showing protesters dressed in bright orange vests sitting on some of the city’s main roads.

In several instances, members of the public shouted profanity and dragged protesters to the nearby sidewalk. The drivers dragged the demonstrators off the road, but they returned insistently to take their place.

Just Stop Oil protests in London on Saturday. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

A man threw a bollard into the road near where they were sitting and people ripped up their placards and threw them to the ground.

The group quoted some of the participants in the protest, including Anna Berrill, a 20-year-old philosophy student from Leeds, who said: “I’m doing this because it breaks my heart to witness the tragedies that are happening and will continue to happen because of our actions, and living in a collapsing world and doing nothing is unbearable.

Helen Redfern, 57, grandmother of four and founder of a social enterprise in Gateshead, said: “I am joining the Just Stop Oil campaign today because for me, non-violent direct action seems to be the only option left to me.”

Another added: “The government is not taking seriously the devastating effects of the climate emergency. They are still granting new oil and gas licenses when it is clear that oil and gas is the problem, not the solution.

“I can’t already sit idly by and watch people suffer around the world, knowing that unless we act quickly, more and more people will experience more and more climate-related disasters now. and in the future.”

Just Stop Oil: A protester sticks his hand on a road in central London – video

At the time of writing, the videos had been live for an hour and had been viewed over 30,000 times collectively.

The Metropolitan Police tweeted: “We are aware of the Just Stop Oil protests in Kensington High Street, Charing Cross Road, Kennington Park Road and Blackfriars Road. The police immediately intervened and several arrests were made.

“Protesters used ‘bolts’ and glued themselves to the road. Charing Cross Road has now been cleared and is once again open to traffic. Work is underway to reopen the other roads as soon as possible. »

Earlier this month, the Public Order Bill passed the House of Commons, targeting “criminal, disruptive and self-destructive guerrilla tactics” used by groups such as Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain.

It would introduce stiff penalties for ‘locked down’ protests, used regularly by groups such as Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Just Stop Oil, as well as new offenses of interfering with key national infrastructure, obstructing major transport and serious disturbances by tunneling.

He faced significant opposition from climate activist groups, civil rights organizations and a number of politicians.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said he would press ahead with Tory plans for tough penalties for climate protesters who block roads, despite Labour’s reiteration of a pledge not to allow new oil and gas licences.

Just Stop Oil has pledged to continue its disruptive protests until the government imposes the death penalty for their actions.

As well as halting traffic in London every day this month, the group recently made headlines for targeting famous works of art during their protests.

Earlier this month, two young people visiting Room 43 of the National Gallery in London threw off their overcoats to reveal t-shirts printed with Just Stop Oil. Then they poured tomato soup over one of Vincent van Gogh’s sunflower paintings, asking “Which is worth more: art or life?”

Dutch police arrested three people at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague on Thursday after a Just Stop Oil protester tried to stick his ear to Johannes Vermeer’s Golden Age masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

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