'You won't move? That's a shame': Eco activists ignore police pleas to get off the road during slow march

9 May 2023, 06:29

'You won't move? That's a shame': Eco activists ignore police pleas to get off the road during slow march

By Will Taylor

Just Stop Oil activists ignored police pleas to move off the road as they continued their slow walking protests.

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The eco protesters, who demand an end to new oil and gas licences, blocked up London roads as they demonstrated with their usual orange high-vis jacket and banners.

Motorists were left waiting for them to get out of the way so they could continue their bank holiday Monday journey.

Their slow walk is deliberately designed to cause disruption and a police officer was recorded by LBC's reporter Henry Riley imploring them to cooperate as they demonstrated near Marble Arch.

"Is there any way we can accommodate you moving to the side?" he asks.

An activist shakes his head as the officer says: "No? That's a shame.

"We've now got quite a lot of resources invested in this. It's a shame to be having to have this conversation when if you were to take ten steps to the left or right cars can flow and we can then walk alongside you."

He continues to be ignored throughout the video and the activists carry on their slow march.

Read more: Republican protesters and Just Stop Oil activists arrested ahead of King's Coronation

Activists could be heard hitting their horns in frustration during the disruption.

The Met has been criticised for not being tough enough on eco protests that interfere with ordinary people's lives.

But some onlookers applauded as the officer pleaded with the group.

Just Stop Oil split their 40 activists into two groups on Monday morning and one heading from Green Park and the other from Portman Square, the group said.

The group said: "Just Stop Oil supporters have been marching in the capital, every day since the 24th of April.

"These marches come in the wake of international outcry over authoritarian crackdowns on legitimate, peaceful protest over the Coronation weekend."

It had a number of activists detained as they targeted King Charles's coronation.

Read more: 'They're political prisoners': Just Stop Oil spokesperson brands the jailing of activists 'disgusting'

While the Met has been criticised for not being tough enough, there were also complaints on Saturday that it was too heavy handed as it policed the ceremony.

"19 Just Stop Oil supporters were arrested on Saturday for possession of t-shirts and flags emblazoned with the slogan," the group said.

"Two independent journalists, with press accreditations clearly visible, were also arrested and held for up to 18 hours."

The Met said on Sunday evening it made a number of arrests over the coronation but did not say how many were eco protesters.

"As part of the policing operation in central London for the Coronation, a total of 64 arrests were made yesterday (Saturday, 6 May) for various offences including breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance," the force said in a statement.