Just Stop Oil demonstrators are given the thumbs up by police.

Just Stop Oil demonstrators are given the thumbs up by police.

Just Stop Oil protestors have conducted more slow marches, once again blocking roads in London, much to the anger of motorists.  At approximately 8 a.m. on Tuesday, demonstrators blocked the road at the Bricklayers Arms roundabout, causing traffic delays along the Old Kent Road ahead of a demonstration at St Paul’s.

Police officers marched alongside the demonstrators, who carried orange banners and wore orange hi-vis vests. The fact that protestors have been permitted to disturb the lives of working people while police officers walk alongside them has been widely criticised.

On Tuesday, a Met officer was seen giving a thumbs-up to one of the eco-zealots, which sparked outrage. A van driver made a somewhat unusual hand motion.  Ministers are now ordering police to intervene in the Just Stop Oil “go-slow” demonstrations.

The government proposes to eliminate loopholes used by Just Stop Oil and other environmental activists by establishing in law the threshold of disruption at which police may intervene and jail demonstrators.

It comes after police commanders said that the confusion over what constitutes “serious disruption” has stopped them from acting for fear of exposing personnel to legal challenges and compensation claims for violating protest regulations.

The action followed a protest on Saturday in which campaigners tucked themselves into a bed on display at Harrods as a protest against fuel poverty.

Just Stop Oil marches have created major disruption in recent months, infuriating members of the public and driving politicians to lash out, with Home Secretary Suella Braverman labelling the protestors as radicals.

Police chiefs met at Downing Street earlier this month to discuss how to deal with them. According to the Metropolitan Police’s Assistant Chief Constable, Matt Twist, policing the demonstrations has cost the police roughly £5.5 million so far.

More than 700 individuals have been detained and over 200 have been charged in connection with protests since October.

Just Stop Oil’s tactics seem to have shifted lately, with supporters strolling slowly on the road rather than halting traffic totally.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said of the incident in south London: “There was some disruption to traffic in the area around Old Kent Road this morning due to protesters walking slowly in the road.

“The disruption was intermittent, with the group alternating between walking eastbound and westbound and coming off the road entirely.

“We are alert to these new JSO tactics. Officers will intervene where serious disruption is being caused.”

While the public may find the demonstrations annoying, campaigners are unlikely to be detained on slow marches, according to an item on the Metropolitan Police Events Twitter account.

“We know it’s frustrating to see them walking slowly in the roads but as they have been small in number and traffic is able to move around them, we are less likely to be able to arrest and prosecute them for unlawful obstruction,” the tweet added.

Source: Police give thumbs up to Just Stop Oil protesters

What’re your thoughts on the article.