TfL wins court order to restrict Just Stop Oil protests in London

Image above: Just Stop Oil protestors block traffic at Baron’s Court on Tuesday morning

Injunction gives greater powers to police to use against protestors

Transport for London has won a court order which will restrict the ability of Just Stop Oil protesters to block roads in the capital, making it easier for police to take pre-emptive action against protesters and to secure jail sentences.

The decision came hours after activists blocked the A4 at Barons Court Tube station for two hours on Tuesday morning (18 October) in their ongoing campaign which demands the Government halt all new oil and gas licences.

The TfL injunction was approved by the High Court on Tuesday after the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was involved in a meeting with Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Cabinet Office minister Nadhim Zahawi and the Metropolitan police on Sunday (17 October) to discuss the disruption being caused by the eco protesters.

Tuesday’s protest resulted in congestion eastward back as far as Warwick Road and westward past Hammersmith Flyover to Sutton Court Road in Chiswick. Transport for London then closed the A4 eastbound at the Hogarth Roundabout.

Protestors were on Talgarth Road from about 7.45am. Some were sitting in the road, while others either glued themselves to the road or locked on to each other. Metropolitan police officers attended and unglued those who had stuck themselves to the road or each other, 26 people were arrested on suspicion of wilful obstruction of the highway.

Image above: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

“Protest is a cornerstone of our democracy… but it’s got to be done in a peaceful, lawful and safe way”, says Sadiq Khan

Mr Khan told the Evening Standard on Tuesday:

“As far as Just Stop Oil and other protesters are concerned, I accept that there is a climate emergency and I accept we have got to take action, and I accept protest is a cornerstone of our democracy.

“But it’s got to be done in a peaceful, lawful and safe way. It’s not benefiting our wish to change public opinion if you are stopping buses or stopping public transport or causing criminal damage to pieces of art – or on a new Elizabeth line.

“We are trying to encourage people to walk, cycle or use public transport to join the cause tackling climate change. It’s made the cause much harder when stories emerge of ambulances being delayed, fire engines being delayed, people not being able to get to hospital appointments.

“It’s really important we try to educate people about the dangers of climate change and air pollution, change public opinion but also change the opinions of Government. My worry is the tactics of Just Stop Oil are achieving none of these things.” The mayor added:

“It is a very specific injunction. This is not stopping Just Stop Oil protests. What it is saying is: you have got to understand the parameters of protest, and that means it should be peaceful, lawful and safe.”

“We will not be intimidated by changes to the law”, says Just Stop Oil

A Just Stop Oil spokeswoman said:

“We will not be intimidated by changes to the law, we will not be stopped by injunctions sought to silence non-violent people. These are irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter, the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities.

“The greatest threat to law and order is the climate crisis and the Government is seeking to extend UK fossil fuel extraction, planning to make the lives of ordinary people worse, planning the deaths of millions. This is a criminal act.

“The government is criminally failing in its fundamental duty to protect the people. The social contract is broken. As citizens, as parents and children we have every right under British Law to proect ourselves and those we love.

“We will continue to resist until the government makes a meaningful statement to end new oil and gas.”

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