Just Stop Oil expected to begin two weeks of action in London from Monday

Scotland Yard believes environmental activist group will launch two weeks of ‘disruption’ in the capital before Christmas

Just Stop Oil is expected to begin two weeks of action from Monday and has accused the government and police of “groundhog day” rhetoric over crackdowns on protesters.

Scotland Yard said on Sunday that it believes the environmental activist group will launch two weeks of “disruption” in London in the run-up to Christmas.

It comes amid reports that the home secretary, Suella Braverman, is to summon police chiefs to Downing Street for a meeting about cracking down on the group’s protests.

Braverman and the policing minister, Chris Philp, will meet police leaders and crime commissioners in Downing Street towards the end of the week, a Whitehall source told PA Media.

Braverman has previously accused police of failing in their duty and demanded tougher action on Just Stop Oil activists after they disrupted the M25 motorway earlier this month.

Just Stop Oil has responded to reports about Rishi Sunak clamping down on demonstrators. In a statement on Sunday, the group said: “Does it feel like groundhog day? Haven’t we been here before with the last two prime ministers and their home secretaries?

“They say that repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting a different result each time is a sign of madness.

“But we already know that the government is deluded and out of touch. To blindly pursue new fossil fuel extraction when the IEA [International Energy Agency], the UN and 99% of the world’s scientists have said that to do so will lead to the collapse of human civilisation is, in the words of the UN secretary general António Guterres, ‘moral and economic madness’.”

The Met Police said 755 Just Stop Oil activists were arrested during October and November, with 182 charged.

Commander Karen Findlay said: “Activists are affecting people’s businesses, their lives, whether they are on their way to a doctor, a long-awaited hospital appointment, on their way to work, to interviews, or to collect children.

“Therefore, I again urge Just Stop Oil organisers to engage with us to minimise disruption to Londoners.”

The campaign group has vowed to continue its protests until the government agrees to halt all new oil and gas projects.

Last week, two Just Stop Oil activists were found guilty of causing criminal damage after glueing themselves to the frame of a Vincent van Gogh painting at the National Gallery in London.

Emily Brocklebank, 24, and Louis McKechnie, 22, caused just under £2,000 of damage at the Courtauld Gallery when they attached themselves to the 1889 work Peach Trees in Blossom, their trial heard.

The 18th-century frame, which is older than the painting itself, had been permanently damaged, District Judge Neeta Minhas told Westminster magistrates court.


Nadeem Badshah

The GuardianTramp

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