M25 blocked by Just Stop Oil protesters as police warn drivers to avoid the area

Rush hour traffic in Essex brought to standstill

Thomas Kingsley
Tuesday 08 November 2022 16:23 GMT
M25 brought to a standstill as Just Stop Oil activists stage new protest

Just Stop Oil protesters blocked the M25 for the second day running, with rush hour traffic brought to a standstill.

The motorway was blocked anticlockwise at Junction 31 for Lakeside in Essex after protesters climbed gantries at the M1 junction.

Officers warned commuters to avoid the area this morning before multiple activists were arrested.

Essex Police chief superintendent Simon Anslow said he “shares the frustrations” of commuters following the disruption this morning.

“We will not tolerate the serious criminality that brings our motorways to a standstill and will continue to take firm action to arrest those responsible and to bring them before the courts,” Mr Anslow said.

“In Essex, there is 32 miles of the M25 and at least 70 gantries so it is a huge task to prevent these incidents.

“Despite this, due to our officers proactively patrolling we were able to bring one person down and arrest them within 90 minutes of them being spotted.

“Our priority will continue to be to keep Essex moving and keep people safe and officers will continue to proactively patrol the M25 to identify and tackle incidents where they take place.”

It comes as the Metropolitan Police announced that eight people were charged today with conspiracy to cause a public nuisance following attempts to cause disruption on the M25.

The proactive crackdown, in partnership with Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire Police force also saw a further 14 people charged with causing a public nuisance following protests on the M25.

Activists shut down sections of the same motorway by climbing onto gantries during rush hour on Monday.

A stretch of road between Junctions 6 and 7 in Surrey and the key Junction 25 in Waltham Cross were closed as police dealt with demonstrations on Monday morning.

Activists also targeted other locations along the motorway circling Greater London in a call to end all new oil and gas licenses.

The continued disruption comes as the Metropolitan Police announced efforts on Sunday night to arrest the “mastermind” behind the plans and put an end to the disruption.

In an emotional video on Monday, one 24-year-old protester named Louise teared up as she told the camera: “I'm here because I don't have a future. And you might hate me for doing this, and you're entitled to hate me, but I wish you would direct all that anger and hatred at our government.

“They are betraying young people like me.”

She went on: “How many more people have to say 'we don't have a liveable future if you continue licensing oil and gas' for you to listen? Why does it take young people like me, up on a f*****g gantry on the M25, for you to listen?”

“It’s completely wrong to disrupt people’s lives this way,” business secretary Grant Shapps said, adding: “I hope that justice is served up to these people.”

On Sunday, the Met said it had carried out an investigation that gave it “strong reason” to suspect Just Stop Oil was planning to “disrupt major motorway road networks”.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that by the end of the day 35 people had been arrested.

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