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

10 May 2023, 09:26 | Updated: 10 May 2023, 09:47

Just Stop Oil protester compares movement to the Suffragettes as they continue to hold up parts of London

By Will Taylor

A Just Stop Oil activist compared the group's slow walk protests in London's roads to the Suffragettes as police tried to convince him to get on the pavement.

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Demonstrators from the eco group continued their slow marches through the capital to the fury of motorists forced to queue behind them.

An officer spoke to the group on Wednesday morning to ask them where they were going when an activist compared the stunt to the women's rights heroes from a century ago.

Walking slowly in front of a Just Stop Oil banner, the officer is seen in LBC footage saying to a man in an orange high-vis jacket: "And you've taken the roadway to do a slow walk protest, so what really helps me is we understand what that protest looks like for the next 30, 40 minutes."

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

"It's going to look like this, isn't it?" the activist replies.

"We're going to take a left up here, if that helps you."

The officer asks: "Is your intention to stay in the roadway to do that?"

"Of course," the activist says. "That's why we're here - nothing ever changes if we stay on the pavement, does it?

"You wouldn't have had a weekend if people had stayed on the pavement. We wouldn't have gay rights and civil rights and women's votes if they had just stayed on the pavement and not disrupted anything."

The officer suggests taking the protest to the pavement, to which the activist replies: "Would you have said that to the Suffragettes 100 years ago?"

Traffic jams formed behind the slow march, with one fire alarm engineer telling LBC: "It's f***ing bollocks.

Read more: 'Think of the dolphins!', furious mum told as eco-activists block the road while she tries to get son to school

"I should have been [at my first appointment] about half an hour ago," he said as an angry driver hit his horn.

A van driver said: "They've got to protest, but there's better ways of doing it. It's stopping everybody from doing their day.

"Protest peacefully out the way but let traffic carry on, let everyone carry on with their daily work."

About 20 officers were shadowing the protest. One officer issued them a "section 12", telling them the protest must move onto the pavement.

They were told anyone who did not comply could face arrest.

The Met said: "At 09:09hrs, 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."

Just Stop Oil demands an end to all new fossil fuel projects. Its slow marching campaign has entered its third week.

Some 30 protesters began marching from Queen Victoria Street, close to Mansion House, from 8am, the group said.

It is also holding slow marches in Parliament Square every Saturday and vowed to continue "until we win".

The group said 19 of its activists were arrested during King Charles' coronation, among dozens of other protesters, though none have been charged.