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'I don't believe that's the case': Just Stop Oil activists refuse to make way for man 'urgently heading to hospital'

26 May 2023, 10:54 | Updated: 26 May 2023, 11:43

The protest took place on Old Kent Road, central London
The protest took place on Old Kent Road, central London. Picture: LBC
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A group of Just Stop Oil activists have refused to move out of the way for a man who claimed he urgently needed to go to hospital.

Just Stop Oil previously said it would not block roads in an emergency but one protestor 'slow-marching' along Old Kent Road, south east London, today said he 'did not believe' a man who said he was going to hospital.

In footage taken by LBC, a police liaison officer can be heard telling activists that a man driving behind their slow-march 'has a hospital appointment'.

A Just Stop Oil activist asks the officer if it is an emergency, which the officer confirms.

The protestor replied: "I don't believe that's the case."

Warning: footage below contains explicit language

Just Stop Oil protesters block man who 'needs to urgently go to hospital'

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The man then furiously labelled the Just Stop Oil protestor a "weasel" before driving onto the pavement around the group.

As he drives away, the man screams: "You're a joke!"

Dr Larch Maxey, who joined in with Just Stop Oil's protest, said the group would need to see evidence that the man had a hospital appointment, otherwise there is "no protest".

"If he as evidence, great, I would certainly let him through, or if I spoke to him and I could see that he was genuine," Dr Maxey told LBC.

Another man, who was driving an electric vehicle while waiting for the group to move out of the way, told LBC he would tell the protestors: "Can you move out the way please, I'm not using any oil!"

He continued: "They're doing what they think is right but it's a big inconvenience for a lot of people...it's upsetting the public because they can't get through."

Read More: ‘Utterly contemptible’ Just Stop Oil target ‘Britain’s greenest event’ the Chelsea Flower Show as three arrested

Read More: Furious builder tackled and handcuffed by police after he tries to shove Just Stop Oil protestors off the road

Naturalist Chris Packham attended the protests, though did not join is as he is still "figuring out" whether it is the right course of action.

He told LBC: "I'm broadly in support of what they're doing...my question here, really, is is this working? Is this helping when it comes to addressing the climate crisis.

"So I guess what we've got to think is - is this communicating the message we want or is this aggravating the public?

"Are people coming on board with what the message is here or are they being alienated from it?

"I've reached a point in my life where I've recognised that the techniques that we've been using when it comes to protests haven't been working. We're still extracting and burning fossil fuel."

He added: "We know that if it isn't a disruptive protest, it doesn't get news."

Just Stop Oil protest at Tower Bridge

The environmental activist group began three months of planned protest activity on April 24, predominantly using a new 'slow marching' tactic.

This tactic sees activists walk slowly along the streets in order to cause major traffic delays, causing severe disruption to the public.

It comes after new figures showed that policing the protests have taken officers away from the equivalent of 11,000 shifts, costing the taxpayer £3.5 million.

The group has carried out a number of controversial protests this week, including on Thursday when they ruined a sustainable garden at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Just Stop Oil protestors caused temporary closures to Tower Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge in central London.

During protests on Blackfriars Bridge, one frustrated commuter - a builder - got out of his car and tried to move the protestors out of the road, pushing one to the ground.

Two police officers quickly step in to stop the commuter in his tracks and handcuff him as the protestors remain on the road.

Nick Ferrari loses patience with JSO spokesperson

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Just Stop Oil's spokesperson said their actions would only stop when the government make a statement.

Justifying attacking the Chelsea Flower Show, the spokesperson said "they didn't attack anything," claiming they used "bio-degradable cornstarch made with vegan food colouring".

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