Just Stop Oil activists halt M25 protests after days of widespread disruption | UK News
Just Stop Oil has said it is halting its protests on the M25 after causing days of widespread disruption on the major motorway circling London.
Its supporters have been climbing overhead gantries in several locations, forcing the police to close vast sections of the road for safety while officers remove activists.
“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,” the group said today.
“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.
“You don’t get to recycle words and promises – you owe it to the British people to act.
“Today is Remembrance Day, we call on you to honour all those who served and loved their country. Take the necessary first step to ensure a liveable future and halt new oil and gas.”
The group did not say whether campaigners would resume action on the M25 if their demands are not met.
The demonstrations began on Monday as the latest COP27 international climate change summit in Egypt got under way.
Dozens of people took part in the protests and were detained – despite the Metropolitan Police “proactively” arresting campaigners suspected of planning the action.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said the action was “criminality”, not protest.
“This was a very significant and co-ordinated effort to cause massive disruption to the entirety of the M25,” he said.
Essex Police made several arrests across a stretch of the M25 during the course of the group’s four-day campaign.
It’s chief constable, BJ Harrington, told Sky News the group’s actions were “unlawful” and “dangerous”, warning protesters were not only risking their own lives, but that of motorists and police officers too.
One police officer was injured in a crash with two lorries while responding to protests on the motorway on Wednesday.
Campaigner Indigo Rumbelow, told Sky News’ Mark Austin on Thursday the climate crisis is set to get “worse and worse and worse unless we act”.
She accepted the disruption is “not pleasant”, adding: “We feel empathy for all those people out there”, but insisted the action was necessary to get the government to listen.
National Highways has said dealing with the Just Stop Oil protests is costing it “a lot of money”.
It has secured a High Court injunction to prevent protesters disrupting England’s busiest motorway.
The court has granted a further injunction which aims to stop unlawful demonstrations on the M25, which encircles Greater London, in an attempt to end disruption to the busy road by the environmental group.
It means that anyone entering the motorway and fixing themselves to any object or structure on it, and anyone assisting in such an act, can be held in contempt of court.
They could face imprisonment, an unlimited fine, and the seizure of assets.