More than 100 arrested during weekend of eco-protests in London

More than 100 arrested during weekend of eco-protests in London

October 10, 2022

Met Police slam eco-zealots for causing ‘unreasonable disruption’ during weekend of chaos in London which saw roads blocked, paint thrown across shops and restaurants and more than 100 arrests – with group set to hold more protests TODAY

  • Eco-warriors Just Stop Oil yesterday protested for a ninth day in Westminster demanding an end to oil and gas
  • They say they will continue to disrupt roads and the public every day in October until fossil fuel use stops
  • Angry motorists were yesterday filmed dragging protesters out of the road and shouting at them in the street

Met Police chiefs last night accused eco-zealots behind a weekend of chaos in central London of causing ‘unreasonable disruption’ to people’s lives.

The force said it was forced to put a ‘significant’ policing operation to deal with the eco-warriors, who blocked roads in the capital over the weekend as part of a month of climate protests.

Others threw paint across shops and restaurants in the city centre, after two protests poured milk across the shop floors of upmarket department stores Fortnum and Mason and Selfridges. 

The Met has now revealed its officers arrested more than 100 protesters across Saturday and Sunday – the ninth day of action by militant campaign group Just Stop Oil.

How the Met Police arrested more than 100 eco-protesters during two-days of disruption 

On Saturday morning, a proactive vehicle stop in Berwick Street resulted in the arrest of three people linked to the Animal Rebellion group. Officers seized items including fire extinguishers filled with paint. 

Officers on duty in Green Park also spotted two people from the same group wanted in connection with incidents at shops in central London on Friday where milk had been poured on carpets and food displays. They were both arrested and have since been charged.

Away from the main protest group, there were three incidents where damage was caused to shops and a restaurant by people emptying tins of paint onto windows and floors. Nine people were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage in relation to those incidents.

18 protestors from Animal Rebellion who blocked Westminster Bridge on Saturday evening and refused to leave when requested to do so were arrested.

Earlier that day, 24 protestors linked to the Just Stop Oil group were arrested for obstructing the highway after they blocked Edgware Road/Upper Berkeley Street and Marylebone Road/Baker Street.

On Sunday afternoon, 47 people from the same group were arrested when they blocked roads in the vicinity of Piccadilly Circus with some using locking devices to try and delay police interventions. 

The eco-zealots, who want the Government to halt all new oil and gas projects, are urging supporters to protest throughout October as part of a call-to-action named ‘Occupy Westminster’.

But last night Met chiefs took aim at the group, who they say had caused ‘unreasonable disruption’ to people’s lives with their actions. Protests were also held by Animal Rebellion, a splinter group of Extinction Rebellion, over the weekend.

Superintendent Chris Green, who led the policing operation, said: ‘This weekend we saw repeated efforts to cause damage to businesses and to unreasonably disrupt the lives of ordinary Londoners by blocking roads.

‘The policing operation required to respond to these challenges is significant. It requires many officers out on the ground in key locations in addition to those who are needed to process prisoners and then carry out the investigations to turn arrests into charges and ultimately, outcomes at court.

‘We fully support peaceful protest and will always try to work with organisers so that protests can go ahead safely, but the public rightly expect us to respond swiftly and effectively where protest crosses the line into criminality.

‘Thanks to the dynamic and effective response of the dedicated men and women who were on duty over the past two days, we have identified offenders, prevented further incidents of criminal damage and kept disruption in central London to a minimum.’

It comes after furious motorists were pictured dragging members of the environmental group from the roads surrounding Westminster on Sunday.

Dozens of protesters blocked roads in central London around the Houses of Parliament yesterday, in a bid to force government to take action on the climate crisis.

One was filmed clambering on top of a police van which had arrived to deal with the protesters and gluing himself down to it by the hand. 

But the protests left some motorists frustrated. And they took matters into their own hands – attempting to forcibly remove the protesters from the roads themselves. 

The force said it was forced to put a ‘significant’ policing operation to deal with the eco-warriors, who blocked roads in the capital over the weekend as part of a month of climate protests. Pictured: Protesters block the road in Piccadilly Circus

The activist was later pictured being lowered down from the van after his hand was unglued from the top

Dozens of Just Stop Oil protesters marched on Westminster for the ninth day in a row yesterday and warned they will continue to do so throughout the month

The organisation plans to blockade roads around Westminster every day in October and yesterday teamed up with Animal Rebellion

A man at yesterday’s protests held up a sign reading ‘Don’t jail the messengers’ and demanding the government takes action now

One activist climbed on top of a police van in Piccadilly Circus, bringing it to a halt in the middle of the road

Police officers using cutting equipment to remove a padlock from the neck of a protester sat blocking the road

Police carry away a protester who had locked herself to another at Piccadilly Circus in London this afternoon

Just Stop Oil revealed yesterday that one protester had to have emergency medical treatment after being removed from the road by a motorist, but added: ‘We are not backing down’

The Just Stop Oil protesters have also begun doubling up in lines across the road, to ensure dragging them out the way is not so straightforward

The group has revealed that one activist required emergency medical care after being removed from the road by a motorist on Saturday

According to Just Stop Oil, two women who were arrested during the protests for throwing paint on a store front are set to appear in court tomorrow 

There is also footage online of a white van driving towards the protesters at speed, before slamming the brakes on and stopping just a couple of centimetres in front of them.

This driver and others were shown violently pushing and shoving protesters, as well as dragging them towards the pavement. 

In one online video a driver can be heard saying: ‘I have to go to hospital… stop interfering with us!’

Protesters, who held multiple banners and were all dressed in orange jackets, have vowed to disrupt roads for the rest of the month.

The Metropolitan Police says it has arrested 45 people for willful obstruction of the highway in Piccadilly yesterday, just one day after it took 24 into custody for causing similar scenes in Marylebone Road. 

And there were further scenes of chaos on Saturday as vegans joined the eco-zealots by pouring milk all over the roads and covering shopfronts with paint.

The Met tweeted confirming the arrest of a man who was filmed jumping onto a police van: ‘UPDATE: We are aware of a video shared earlier this afternoon showing a man running and jumping onto the top of a police van at Piccadilly Circus. 

‘He was brought down by specially trained officers and has since been arrested for obstruction and criminal damage.’

Just Stop Oil said that one activist was left needing ’emergency’ medical care after being violently removed from the road by a motorist yesterday.

In a statement, the organisation said: ‘We are not backing down.

‘Occupation of Westminster entered its 9th day. Massive disruption has been caused throughout the borough with multiple bridges and key A roads repeatedly blocked.

‘Yesterday, a group of Just Stop Oil supporters remained resolutely nonviolent when confronted by the understandably frustrated members of the public. 

‘One supporter required emergency medical treatment due to having been removed from the road by a member of the public. 

‘The disruption will end when the Government makes a statement that it will halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.’

They vow to continue blocking roads in Westminster every day in October. 

Yesterday activists were pictured using methods to frustrate easy removal, including several lines of protesters and even locking themselves to one another using D-locks. 

One protester climbed on top of a police ban with a Just Stop Oil banner, reportedly gluing himself to the roof. He told passers-by: ‘I’m angry. Sad… Where’s the outrage?’ 

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘A total of 45 people have been arrested for wilful obstruction of the highway after Just Stop Oil protests in Piccadilly on Sunday, 9 October. They have been taken into custody.’

Yesterday activists wearing luminous vests sat across Marylebone Road, while long queues of cars, buses and taxis angrily beeped their horns. 

The Met tweeted confirming the arrest of a man who was filmed jumping onto a police van: ‘UPDATE: We are aware of a video shared earlier this afternoon showing a man running and jumping onto the top of a police van at Piccadilly Circus’

Protesters at Piccadilly Circus on Sunday hold banners and appear to have locked themselves together

Police begin talking to protesters in an effort to persuade them to move out of the road before they are arrested

In part due to angry motorists, some protesters have turned to extreme measures to prevent them from being moved against their will – including locking together by the neck

A motorcycle rider reacts in frustration at the Just Stop Oil protesters blocking his path

Two protesters hold hands inside a tube while lying across the road in central London this afternoon

Police carry away an elderly Just Stop Oil protester on Saturday after the organisation teamed up with Animal Rebellion to cause travel chaos

Activists with Just Stop Oil have been blockading roads around central London for nine days now, and intend to keep going

There were 24 arrests made in relation to the Just Stop Oil protests yesterday.

One man was filmed being arrested during the protests, but told the interviewer he had simply congratulated them for their action.

He told reporters he lived ’round the corner’ and simply came out to say to the activists he supports them, but quickly found himself detained by officers.

Yesterday’s action followed protests in the capital every day since last Saturday, which have also seen Just Stop Oil block roads around Parliament Square, Waterloo Bridge and Trafalgar Square.

The sit-down yesterday during the week of action saw some protestors gluing themselves to the road to hinder attempts to remove them, as they continue to demand the Government stops new oil and gas projects.

Yesterday Just Stop Oil teamed up with Animal Rebellion, an off-shoot of Extinction Rebellion, to bring large parts of the capital to a standstill.

Members of the environmental protest groups poured milk on Regent Street and St James’s Street as they marched through central London. 

The shopfront of William Evans gun room was covered with green paint and red paint was poured on the floors of Farlow’s fishing, hunting and shooting supply store, as well as placing paper flowers outside.

The group say this is to expose the outdated practices of hunting, shooting and fishing, whilst also showing that a better world is possible.

While there was no sign of Animal Rebellion yesterday, the group said its acts the day before highlight the need for urgent and immediate transition towards a plant-based food system, away from the current one that includes the inefficient and unnecessary exploitation of nonhuman animals.

They also said the outside of the shop had been covered in origami flowers to represent the nature that could be restored and flourish if we move into a plant-based future, free from so-called ‘blood sports’.

Robert Gordon, from York, said: ‘A plant-based food system could feed more people, using less land, for less money. Instead of trapping farmers in dependence on outdated and inefficient subsidies, Ranil Jayawardena and DEFRA should be taking bold steps to assist farmers in a transition to a plant-based future with a meaningful and supportive subsidy system.

‘It’s time we have a government that backs farmers, rather than leaving them on their backs.’

The vegan activists who poured milk all over the floor in Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason yesterday were also arrested by police.

Vegans and Just Stop Oil eco-zealots joined forces to bring central London to a standstill yesterday by pouring milk all over the roads and covering shopfronts with paint

Protesters from the groups, offshoots of Extinction Rebellion, blocked roads and bridges in the capital yesterday in order to highlight their demand that the government stops new oil and gas projects

On Saturday the shopfront of William Evans gun room was covered with green paint and red paint was poured on the floors of Farlow’s fishing, hunting and shooting supply store, as well as placing paper flowers outside

Members of the environmental protest groups Animal Rebellion and Just Stop Oil poured milk on Regent Street and St James’s Street as they marched through central London yesterday

Hundreds of protestors from Animal Rebellion – an offshoot of the Extinction Rebellion group that describes itself as a ‘mass movement using non-violent civil disobedience to call for a just, sustainable plant-based food system’ – gathered at Green Park in London at 11am yesterday.

Before marching through central London, Sofia Fernandes Pontes from Madeira and Steve Bone from Essex, the duo who poured out milk over the two high-end London department stores in a protest against dairy products, were arrested by police.

The climate group has two demands, the first being for the Government to support farmers and fishing communities to move away from animal farming and fishing as part of an urgent and immediate transition to a plant-based food system.

Secondly the group wants the Government to commit to rewild the freed-up land and ocean as part of a broader programme of wildlife restoration and carbon drawdown.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said yesterday: ‘A 40-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman were arrested in Green Park on Saturday, 8 October on suspicion of criminal damage and theft. They have been taken into custody

‘This relates to an incident at a business premises on Piccadilly, London, W1A on Friday, 7 October.

‘At 10.20hrs on Saturday three people, a 26-year-old man and two women, aged 28 and 22, were arrested on suspicion of possession of articles to cause criminal damage. Their arrests follow a proactive vehicle stop in Berwick Street, W1 during which fire extinguishers full of paint were found.

’13 people were arrested shortly after 18:00hrs after they blocked Westminster Bridge. Efforts were made to engage with the group and a number of people left voluntarily. Those who did not were arrested.’

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