Just stop the oil: Demonstrators block four major roads in London

Just Stop Oil activists have blocked Charing Cross Road, High Street Kensington, Harleyford Street and Blackfriars Road in London.

The campaign group said 61 of its supporters walked on Charing Cross Road, Kensington High Street and Harleyford Street off Kennington Park Road and Blackfriars Road, and sat holding signs, causing a traffic delay, at 12 noon.

Some of them stuck themselves on the roads, or locked themselves together. They are calling on the government to stop all new oil and gas licenses and approvals.

The protest outside Oval station on Harleford Street, south London, sparked ugly scenes as drivers protested with activists and tried to forcibly remove them. The drivers pulled the protesters off the road but insistently returned to take their places.

A man threw a roadblock on the road near where they were sitting and people snatched their banners and threw them on the ground. One of the drivers seemed to be speeding towards them before stopping while another climbed onto the sidewalk to turn around.

A motorist said, “We kindly asked you, you’re doing the wrong thing by stopping innocent people from going about their business. Can you move before we pick you up?”

“You’re stopping the wrong people, I have to go pick up my kids, I have to get my truck back to work. We can’t help you, go to Westminster.”

Just Stop Oil protesters block High Street Kensington in central London. Credit: Just stop the oil

Theresa Norton, 64, a Labor Council member in Scarborough who has been supportive of the protest, said: “In the grand scheme of things, a half-hour disruption isn’t a huge sacrifice.

“These people are the ones who make the biggest sacrifices, they will be arrested, going to the police cell, they may have to spend 48 hours in the police cell, going to court on Monday.

“These are the real people who make sacrifices even though people may not realize it. We do it for everyone, and nobody here does it for selfish reasons.”

She added, “We all have to practice nonviolence, so this is a one day training with exactly that scenario, where people are being dragged out, pulled away, sometimes violently, quietly not responding calmly, and calmly back to where they are if and when possible. .

Just stop the oil protests sticking themselves in the roads. Credit: Just stop the oil

“So, we’re trained in this situation and we know there’s a lot of anger, which is unfortunate, nobody enjoys it, but we’re here to prove a point.”

While Jim Green, 66, a father of two from Norwich, said: I would like to ask the Prime Minister why we have followed the science during the pandemic but ignored it in response to the climate crisis? Why do we give more subsidies to oil and gas companies than to the poorest countries in the world? ”

When will the roads open?

The Metropolitan Police said Charing Cross Road had reopened, and officers were working to clear other roads as quickly as possible.

A company spokesperson said: “We are aware of the Just Stop Oil protests in Kensington High Street, Charing Cross Road, Kennington Park Road and Blackfriars Road. Police were immediately at the scene and a number of people were arrested.

The protesters used the “locks” and stuck themselves in the road. Charing Cross is now cleared and back open to traffic. Work is underway to reopen other roads as soon as possible.”