Just Stop Oil stage further marches slowing London traffic

Just Stop Oil protesters have staged further slow marches – blocking roads in London.

Demonstrators obstructed the road at the Bricklayers Arms roundabout at around 8am on Tuesday, with traffic delayed along the Old Kent Road, before a protest at St Paul’s.

Police officers walked alongside the protesters, who held orange banners and wore orange hi-vis vests as they shuffled along.

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The action follows a protest on Saturday which saw activists tucking themselves into a bed on display in luxury shop Harrods in a demonstration against fuel poverty.

Just Stop Oil protests have caused significant disruption in recent months, frustrating members of the public and prompting tough talk from politicians, with Home Secretary Suella Braverman dubbing them the demonstrators extremists.

Earlier this month, police chiefs attended a summit at Downing Street to discuss how to deal with them.

The Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Chief Constable, Matt Twist, said policing the protests has so far cost the force around £5.5 million.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said policing the protests since October has cost more than £5 million.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said policing the protests since October has cost more than £5 million (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Since October, more than 700 people have been arrested and nearly 200 charged over protest action.

Just Stop Oil appears to have changed tactics recently, with supporters walking slowly in the road rather than stopping traffic entirely.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said of the action in south London: “There was some disruption to traffic in the area around Old Kent Road this morning due to protesters walking slowly in the road.

“The disruption was intermittent, with the group alternating between walking eastbound and westbound and coming off the road entirely.

“We are alert to these new JSO tactics. Officers will intervene where serious disruption is being caused.”

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An entry on the Metropolitan Police Events Twitter feed acknowledged that while the public might find the protests frustrating, it is unlikely that activists can be arrested on slow marches.

The tweet said: “We know it’s frustrating to see them walking slowly in the roads but as they have been small in number and traffic is able to move around them, we are less likely to be able to arrest and prosecute them for unlawful obstruction.”