Finally! Met police get tough on Just Stop Oil protesters saying they can’t slow-march on London’s roads – as eco-zealots claim the force is curbing their right to protest
- The protesters were foiled quickly this morning by police imposing conditions
Eco-zealots Just Stop Oil have targeted motorists again with the latest in their serious of tedious slow marching protests – drawing a predictably irate reaction.
The group – who want the end of fossil fuel projects – were shuffling from Princes Street in the direction of Bank Junction this morning.
But the Met Police appear to have finally discovered the way to stop them.
This morning Superintendent Matt Cox issued the group with a Section 12 order, meaning they have to stay off the road or face arrest.
Their Groundhog Day-style cycle of slow road marches are in their third week, but JSO say they are going to continue until the fossil fuel ban is met.
The group were shuffling from Princes Street in the direction of Bank Junction this morning
A driver speaks to an activist from the climate group Just Stop Oil as they continue their protest
Members of the protest group have become increasingly frustrated by the police tactic to issue the order.
It adds a condition to ‘any public procession’ and has curtailed the activists’ demonstrations in the past few days.
What is Section 12 of the Public Order Act?
A Section 12 order under the Public Order Act 1986 relates to ‘imposing conditions on public processions’. It states:
- If the senior police officer, having regard to the time or place at which and the circumstances in which any public procession is being held or is intended to be held and to its route or proposed route, reasonably believes that –
- (a) it may result in serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community, or
- (b) the purpose of the persons organising it is the intimidation of others with a view to compelling them not to do an act they have a right to do, or to do an act they have a right not to do, he may give directions imposing on the persons organising or taking part in the procession such conditions as appear to him necessary to prevent such disorder, damage, disruption or intimidation, including conditions as to the route of the procession or prohibiting it from entering any public place specified in the directions.
A Just Stop Oil spokesperson fumed: ‘The Public Order Bill and specifically Section 12 notices are being used to remove the British public’s right to peacefully oppose government policies that threaten the lives of hundreds of millions of people.
‘Marching has been an integral means of bringing about social change for centuries, be it for those seeking universal suffrage, those seeking to gain equality, or those seeking to make transport accessible for disabled people.’
Just Stop Oil have angered motorists since they came into existence in February last year.
One of the protesters today Jonathan Kennedy, 43, an engineer and father of two, explained why they were doing it.
He said: ‘I’m a parent of two young children, three and six.
‘Our government, right now, is actively increasing the climate related suffering they are going to experience.
‘New oil and gas licences at this point in history are an act of aggression against our children’s generation.’
‘In ten years’ time my children will be teenagers. They will ask me – how was it possible that new oil sites were being opened when everyone knew what it meant for humanity?
‘What were you doing? This is why I am marching today; to be on the right side of history, and to have an answer when my children ask me what I was doing to help.
‘The forest fires, the flooding, the crop failures, the record temperatures are all happening RIGHT NOW, and it’s only getting worse.’
Another of those taking action was Virginia Barret, 52, a hospital consultant from East Grinstead.
She said: ‘I live near an oil well in a National Park. It used to be allowed to release ten tonnes of methane per day into the atmosphere.
Superintendent Matt Cox issued the group with a Section 12 order making the march illegal
Section 12 of the Public Order Act lets police impose conditions onto any ‘public processions’
‘That is enough methane to fill 142 double decker buses. This ten tonne limit was being exceeded, so locals complained to the relevant authorities. Would you like to guess what they did? They removed the daily limit! They are now allowed to release any amount per day.
‘In the hospital where I work, we operate under the tenet of “first do no harm” – shame this does not apply to our government.’
The Met confirmed it had acted to end the protests with the order.
It said: ‘At 9.09am, following the implementation conditions, the Just Stop Oil procession at Moorgate moved out of the road and onto the pavement.
‘The road is now clear and traffic is flowing.’
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