61 arrests in 30 minutes on first day of new Just Stop Oil protests

The Met arrested 61 people in 30 minutes outside parliament this morning for “slow marching” in the first day of Just Stop Oil protests.

At around 10am, 65 Just Stop Oil protestors began marching around Parliament Square, Westminster, to demand the government to stop new oil, gas and coal projects in the UK. 

By 10.30am more than 60 protestors had been arrested.

The arrests were made using new laws under section 7 of the Public Order Act 2023, which bans any act “which interferes with the use or operation of any key national infrastructure in England and Wales.”

The Public Order Act has made “slow marching” illegal.

Protestors took to the street to demand government to stop the new oil, gas and coal projects in the UK (Picture: Just Stop Oil)

A spokesman from the Met said: “We are disappointed that Just Stop Oil is encouraging its members to break the law by slow marching ‘until police arrest them’. 

“This will cause disruption for those who want to go about their daily business.”

A spokesman from Just Stop Oil said: “Just Stop Oil supporters are willing to slow march to the point of arrest today, and every day until the police take action to prosecute the real criminals – the people who are facilitating new oil and gas when they know that to do so will kill hundreds of millions of people.

“Just in the last week, seven people have died in the UK as a result of extreme weather and scientists are telling us it will only get worse.

“In times of crisis, it is down to ordinary people to take a stand against the rich and powerful by disrupting business-as-usual. We know it works.”

Commander Kyle Gordon said: “This is an extremely busy time for officers across London who are providing reassurance to communities following the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The Met said protestors were “slow walking” on purpose to get arrested (Picture: Just Stop Oil)

“It’s unacceptable that we are having to remove officers, who are carrying out vital work in their communities at a time where there is a large number of hate crime being reported to us, to police Just Stop Oil.

“In the UK there is a presumption in favour of protest, however we won’t tolerate unlawful protest which has a negative impact on the lives of Londoners.”

A spokesman from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, said: “The UK is a trailblazer in its ambitions to reach net zero by 2050 – forging ahead of many other countries and nearly halving emissions since 1990.

“While we respect the right to protest, the transition to non-fossil forms of energy cannot happen overnight. Even when we’re net zero, we will still need some oil and gas – the industry also significantly boosts the economy, estimated to support around 200,000 jobs.”

Pictured top: Protestors were arrested for “slow marching” outside Parliament (Picture: Just Stop Oil)

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