Eco-mob head to the pub: Police watch on as activists take a break from causing travel chaos to go for a pint

28 November 2022, 10:26 | Updated: 28 November 2022, 13:22

Just Stop Oil protesters blocked Shepherd's Bush Green
Just Stop Oil protesters blocked Shepherd's Bush Green. Picture: Just Stop Oil

By Emma Soteriou

Eco-protesters took time off from causing travel chaos to go for a pint despite high-profile calls for a crackdown on the activists that have brought misery to motorists.

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Today at 8am Just Stop Oil protesters kicked-off their promised two-week campaign of chaos at 8am, arriving at Shepherd’s Bush station.

But despite calls for a crackdown by Home Secretary Suella Braverman they were allowed to march slowly along the middle of the road. Chief Inspector Billy Bowen-Long admitted the protest was lawful so they could not intervene.

The activists were able to go to a number of locations unhindered and then even stopped off at a pub.

On the Strand, members of the group shouted: "We are Just Stop Oil. We are demanding. That the British government. Immediately halts. All new oil and gas licences and consents."

Just Stop Oil protesters halt traffic near Shepherd's Bush Green

The eco mob has been behind travel chaos for thousands of commuters in recent months, blocking the M25 on several occasions.

They have also grabbed attention with stunts including gluing themselves to the frame of a Vincent Van Gogh painting.

Read more: Officer hit and injured after lorries crash with police bike as eco mob causes havoc on M25 again

Read more: Police will 'bring eco mob to justice' after causing 'serious disruption' across capital, warns Met cop

Just Stop Oil protesters bring the Strand to a halt

One of the protesters, 20-year-old Hannah Smith from London, said: "Why is the government refusing to listen?

"The people of this country have had enough, and we deserve better from our leaders. Don’t let them convince you that we can’t make change.

"When we move as a collective, we have power."

Just Stop Oil protesters surrounded by police
Just Stop Oil protesters surrounded by police. Picture: Just Stop Oil
Police appeared as soon as the group made themselves present.
Police appeared as soon as the group made themselves present. Picture: Just Stop Oil

It comes after police warned the public more action would be on the way in coming weeks, with the group said to be planning to 'march as slowly as possible' around vital roundabouts.

The Metropolitan Police tweeted: "Just Stop Oil activists are planning further disruptive activity from 28 Nov - 14 Dec. We’re fully prepared.

"We will: Arrive quickly. Deal with the situation efficiently. Remove/arrest activists as appropriate. Return things to normal as soon as possible."

In response, JSO said in a statement on Monday: "We will not be intimidated by changes to the law or government posturing on tougher policing tactics.

"Just Stop Oil supporters understand that this is irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter and the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities.

"The Government can end this disruption tomorrow if they agree to halt new oil and gas licences and consents."

The force arrested 755 Just Stop Oil activists, and charged 182, across October and November.

Protesters on the strand
Protesters on the strand. Picture: LBC
Police cars following behind the protesters
Police cars following behind the protesters. Picture: LBC

Home Secretary Suella Braverman is expected to summon police chiefs to Downing Street for talks about cracking down on the protests as they continue to disrupt lives.

Ms Braverman and policing minister Chris Philp will meet police chiefs and police and crime commissioners in Downing Street towards the end of the week, a Whitehall source said.

It is unclear whether the Prime Minister will join them.