Just Stop Oil: Three protestors to deny unlawful obstruction, court hears

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One defendant told the court the protests were “in light of the illegal inaction of our government”, adding: “It was the only recourse that we had.”

Three Just Stop Oil protestors will deny illegally blocking a road in central London, a court heard.

Chloe Thomas, 19, Kay Wagland, 63, and Jo Shippam, 70, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court today (Tuesday, November 8).

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They were all charged with wilful obstruction of a highway, after taking part in a Just Stop Oil protest on October 30, 2022, at the junction of Hanbury Street and Commercial Street.

All three appeared via video link and indicated they intended to plead not guilty.

Thomas, of Stafford Road, Cannock, said her defence was “my actions were lawful”. She added: “Either we act or we don’t survive.”

Stock image of a Just Stop Oil banner blocking a road. Photo: GettyStock image of a Just Stop Oil banner blocking a road. Photo: Getty
Stock image of a Just Stop Oil banner blocking a road. Photo: Getty | Getty Images

And Wagland, of Ford Road, Arundel, told the court the protests were “in light of the illegal inaction of our government”, adding: “It was the only recourse that we had.”

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They requested to self-represent at trial and Wagland asked for police body worn video to be shown in the courtroom.

One man in the public gallery asked the judge to tell the protestors he was there in support of them.

Deputy district Judge Keem said a trial would take place on January 17, 2023 at the City of London Magistrates Court.

Prosecutor David Burns, from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), asked that the protestors be told “not to go to the junction of Hanbury Street and Commercial Street”.

All three were remanded on bail.