Police drag eco-protesters off road after they try to block main route into west London in rush hour

31 May 2023, 08:50 | Updated: 31 May 2023, 11:16

The police officer tried to drag the protester off the road
The police officer tried to drag the protester off the road. Picture: Twitter/Just Stop Oil

By Kit Heren

Police were seen trying to drag eco-activists off the road after they blocked traffic on the main route into west London during rush hour on Wednesday morning, causing huge traffic jams and chaos for commuters.

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The Just Stop Oil protesters blocked the A4, the main road into west London, as well as two other roads, from 8am on Wednesday, causing caused "massive several mile tailbacks", according to one onlooker.

Footage from the scene shows frustrated motorists crawling along behind about a dozen protesters with banners.

The protest proved to be relatively short-lived, as police officers arrived to cleared the demonstrators from the road at about 8.45am.

A video posted online by Just Stop Oil shows an officer trying to pull one man from the road as the protester went limp.

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The frustrated officer gives up and leaves the man, who gets to his feet again.

Nevertheless officers were able to remove the protesters under Section 12 of the Public Order Act, which allows police to break up a 'public procession' if they believe "it may result in serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community".

Just Stop Oil: "At 8am, four groups of Just Stop Oil supporters began marching on roads close to West Kensington station, including Cromwell Road, a major arterial route into London.

"Police were seen dragging supporters in a futile attempt to get them off the road."

Just Stop Oil demands an end to all new fossil fuel projects.

The group has been holding a string of "slow march" protests in recent weeks, as Met Police say they have used 3,900 officer shifts to deal with the public disruptions.

Read more: Just Stop Oil thrown out of Parliament for trying to disrupt inquiry into Coronation policing

Read more: Just Stop Oil activist compares group's actions to the Suffragettes as they carry out another go slow protest in London

Activists are also conducting slow marches in Parliament Square every Saturday, vowing to continue "until we win".

Other events included an incident where protesters were thrown out of a Commons inquiry in Parliament looking into how protests were policed during King Charles's Coronation.

A small group of activists were removed from a Home Affairs Select Committee's meeting as they disrupted the hearing.

Five had been arrested on the day of the Coronation, their group said.

Dr Kush Baker, 33, one of the activists who was removed, began to read a prepared statement which read: "We, as supporters of Just Stop Oil, are here today because our democracy is under threat" – at which point he was removed.

Later, a frustrated man threw a Just Stop Oil protester onto the ground during a slow walk protest in central London.

A video posted to social media shows the man approaching the protesters as they walked down Mansell Street near the Tower of London on May 19.

He then snatches the banners out of the protesters' hands, before shoving the woman on to the ground.

The angry passer-by appeared to snatch a phone from one of the campaigners and throw it away, as he tries to push the other demonstrators out of the way of traffic.

Meanwhile, the woman picks herself up and goes to sit on the pavement.

There was also irritation as protesters threw orange paint over a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, and disrupted the Gallagher Premiership rugby final at Twickenham by invading the pitch and throwing orange powder paint.

The police have warned the public not to intervene in the activists' demonstrations.

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