Just Stop Oil: Sadiq Khan says it’s ‘unfair’ to criticise Met Police for enforcing law

The Met Police says 86 Just Stop Oil protesters have been arrested over the last six weeks.
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Sadiq Khan has said it is “unfair” to criticise the police for arresting Just Stop Oil protestors as it is their job to enforce the law.

Scotland Yard figures show that officers have made 86 arrests over the last six weeks, with the force spending over £4.5 million on policing the climate activist group.

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Just Stop has been taking part in slow marches along central London roads since April 24, demanding an end to all new oil, gas and coal projects in the UK.

The group has taken carried out a number of public stunts, including disrupting the Gallagher Premiership rugby union final at Twickenham and the Chelsea Flower Show.

Speaking at London Tech Week, the mayor of London said that while he is passionate about tackling the climate emergency, people should protest in a safe and lawful way.

“I think it’s unfair to criticise the police when they’re enforcing the law,” he told LondonWorld. “Of course we’ve got to make sure that the police don’t inadvertently act outside the law. “I know there are questions in relation to some of the policing around the Coronation but it’s not the police’s fault if people are breaking the law.”

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Scotland Yard says that during a 156 slow marches, 125 Section 12 of the Public Order Act conditions have been imposed.

86 Just Stop Oil protesters have been arrested in the last six weeks. Credit: Met Police86 Just Stop Oil protesters have been arrested in the last six weeks. Credit: Met Police
86 Just Stop Oil protesters have been arrested in the last six weeks. Credit: Met Police

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan, said: “In deploying the new tactics of moving slowly in front of traffic along highways, Just Stop Oil’s intent has been clear on disrupting road users. This has caused significant impact to the public and officers have been responding as swiftly as possible once aware of the incidents.”

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign launched on February 14 2022, there have been more than 2,200 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison, many without trial.

Two Just Stop Oil supporters are currently serving three year prison sentences.

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In a statement on Monday, Just Stop Oil said: We stand with these political prisoners, with the 1,800 victims of the UK’s broken criminal justice system, imprisoned for over a year without trial, and with the 1,700 murdered across the global south, for protecting all our lives. Ordinary people must come together to resist this criminal government and hold them to account for their genocidal policies.

“Just Stop Oil is calling on everyone to get off the sidelines and join in civil resistance against new oil, gas and coal. The time is now. Join us and slow march while you still can. Our indefinite campaign of civil resistance is underway and will not end until our government makes a meaningful statement halting new fossil fuel projects in the UK.”