Increased Slow-Walking Protests in London Lead to Altercations and Heightened Tensions
Amid rising tensions over the escalating slow-walking protests in London, a motorist has been filmed violently attacking a ‘Just Stop Oil’ protester.
The incident, captured from a nearby building, occurred as the group made their way through the bustling streets of the capital.
The unidentified man was seen aggressively accosting the group, ripping away banners, throwing a phone recording the incident into the distance, and forcefully shoving protesters. The startling episode culminated in the assailant pushing a protester to the roadside.
Reacting to the incident, the group posted the video on their Twitter feed, highlighting the ‘hidden violence’ of approving new oil and gas amid a world struggling with devastating environmental calamities like floods and wildfires.
Recently, the ‘Just Stop Oil’ group has amplified their slow-walking protests, a method involving protesters slowly marching through streets rather than rallying in a fixed area. However, this form of protest has sparked controversy, leading to the government proposing enhanced powers for the police to prevent such disruptive demonstrations.
In April, Home Secretary Suella Braverman labelled these protesters as ‘selfish disruptive’, asserting that changes to the Public Order Bill would provide clarity to the police, enabling them to intervene effectively against these slow-marching tactics.
This incident adds to the ongoing examination of protest rights in the UK, following the controversial arrest of several anti-monarchy protesters at King Charles III’s Coronation on May 6. Despite being released after a 12-hour detention, the arrest has drawn significant criticism of police conduct.
Graham Smith, leader of Republic and one of the arrested individuals, stated, “The speed with which they did this demonstrates they were very quickly aware they had made a very serious error of judgment.” Smith expressed relief over the dropped charges but voiced anger at the unwarranted infringement on their liberty, calling the arrests ‘outrageous’.