Sadiq Khan slams ‘unlawful and dangerous’ Just Stop Oil protests

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The group has held protests in London for the past 17 days with protesters gluing themselves to roads and two activists throwing Heinz tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ at the National Gallery before gluing their hands to the wall. According to police, the two women were charged on Saturday for causing criminal damage after the gallery confirmed the frame had been damaged though the painting itself was protected by glass.

In the early hours of Monday morning, two protesters scaled the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at the Dartford crossing.

Further protests across the weekend saw the Aston Martin showroom on Park Lane dowsed in orange paint as protesters called on the Government to halt new oil and gas licenses.

Members of the public have had run ins with the protesters on numerous occasions with some people trying to take their children to school and others being prevented from accessing hospitals.

The protest group blocked roads in Knightsbridge, near Harrods which saw fire crews and ambulances blocked while one driver shouted: “I’m driving a lady who has to get to hospital with a baby”.

The Police were forced to warn members of the public not to attempt to move the protesters as angry motorists attempted to nudge their way through.

The Mayor of London took to Twitter on Monday to condemn the actions of the group though he has sympathy for their cause.

Mr Khan said: “The protests by Just Stop Oil are causing disruption and are unlawful and dangerous.

“I passionately believe in the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis and the right to protest – but it must be done peacefully, safely and within the law.”

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If granted, this would allow the Metropolitan Police to have more power to take action against the protesters as it would see the disruption of key infrastructure such as Transport for London as a criminal offence.

Under the proposals, the protesters who glue themselves to buildings or roads would be punished by either six months in prison or an unlimited fine.

The Home Secretary vowed that she “will not bend to protesters attempting to hold the British public to ransom”.


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