Just Stop Oil: 58 people charged over protests which shut down parts of M25 | UK News

A total of 58 people have been charged after Just Stop Oil staged four days of protests on the M25, shutting down parts of Britain’s busiest motorway.

The Metropolitan Police said it had arrested 63 suspects during a “major operation to tackle serious disruption”.

Eleven people charged were due to appear in various courts on Friday – on the same day the climate activist organisation announced it would pause protests on the M25.

The group – whose members climbed overhead gantries on the motorway – said in a statement: “From today, Just Stop Oil will halt its campaign of civil resistance on the M25.

“We are giving time to those in government who are in touch with reality to consider their responsibilities to this country at this time.

“We ask that the prime minister consider his statement at COP27, where he spoke of the catastrophic threat posed by the ravages of global heating, the 33 million people displaced by floods in Pakistan, and the moral and economic imperative to honour our pledges.”

But they warned: “The supporters of Just Stop Oil (JSO) are now the people upholding law and order and protecting civil society.

“Under British law, people in this country have a right to cause disruption to prevent greater harm – we will not stand by.”

Handout photo issued by Just Stop Oil of an activist on a overhead gantry on the M25. Just Stop Oil said around 10 of its supporters climbed onto overhead gantries in "multiple locations" on the M25 from 6.30am on Wednesday, in what is the third consecutive day of protests on the UK's busiest motorway. Issue date: Wednesday November 9, 2022.
A Just Stop Oil activist seen on an overhead gantry on the M25.

The 11 people charged include David Misfud, 46, of Totnes, Devon, who was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London.

Nicholas Onley, 60, of Tottenham, north London and Thomas Gardener, 40, of Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, were due to face magistrates in Reading.

Meanwhile, Diana Hekt, 68, of Kirklees, Huddersfield, and Tez Burns, 34, of Swansea, were due to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

Mair Bain, 35, of Derby; Phoebe Plummer, 21, of Clapham, southwest London; David Mann, 50, of Ipswich; Cressida Gethian, 20, of Ledbury, Herefordshire; Christopher Ford, 35, of Cambridge, and Quido Wieswer, 18, from Pentonville, north London, were all set to appear at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Pic: Just Stop Oil
Pic: Just Stop Oil

Injured police officer now recovering

An Essex Police motorcyclist who was injured during a collision with two lorries as the protests unfolded on Wednesday is now recovering and has thanked the public for their concern.

The officer, who has asked to remain anonymous, was hurt during a rolling roadblock after being thrown from his motorcycle.

The married father-of-two is a highly experienced officer who was equipped with the force’s latest motorcycle, including protective clothing and built-in airbags.

He has been part of the Essex Police Road Policing Unit for more than 20 years after signing up in 2001.

The incident comes as a senior police chief warned it is “only a matter of time” before someone is killed during the demonstrations.

But JSO activist Indigo Rumbelow, during a fiery exchange with Sky News’ Mark Austin on Thursday, insisted protests should continue and defended the M25 disruption.

She described the situation as “incredibly grave” and warned: “Protests will have to continue because, at the moment, I just do not know what else we’re going to do.”

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Protester Indigo Rumbelow is challenged by Sky’s Mark Austin

Chief Supt Simon Anslow, the senior officer leading operations on the Essex section of the M25, thanked motorists for their patience and support to officers.

Police to be given more powers to stop protests

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier this week said ministers are “moving ahead” with legislation to give police more powers to stop protests.

His remarks were in response to Conservative MP for Runnymede and Weybridge in Surrey, Ben Spencer, telling the Commons how the M25 protests had caused “disruption and misery” to constituents, including problems accessing the local hospital.

Read more:
Explained: Who are Just Stop Oil?
Video reveals tailbacks caused by M25 protests

JSO has staged 32 days of disruption from the end of September and throughout October, leading to 677 arrests and 111 people being charged.

Officers worked a total of 9,438 extra shifts to tackle the crisis. JSO said its supporters have been arrested more than 2,000 times since beginning its campaign in April.