A Just Stop Oil protestor caused a lorry crash and left a police outrider hurt on the M25 today as swathes of Britain’s busiest motorway were shut for the third day running with one eco-extremist locking themselves to a gantry in a new escalation of hostilities.
One eco-zealot caused chaos between junction 26 and junction 27 in Essex this morning after she was spotted climbing a pole by the road with one witness claiming it was lucky nobody was killed.
Two lorries crashed into eachother under a gantry with a police officer apparently knocked off a motocycle in the chaos. A picture from the scene showed the HGVs crumpled together and the motorcycle on the hard shoulder.
One witness told MailOnline: ‘I was driving along at around 6.21am when a woman started climbing a concrete pole. A police officer on a motorbike swerved to try to stop her and collided with a lorry, which then crashed into another lorry. They arrested the woman before she could get on to the gantry’.
He added: ‘Someone’s going to die soon’, praising the lorry drivers and police officer’s safety gear for preventing a tragedy today.
The incident came on a third day of action on the M25, which appears to be its worst so far, where police failed to stop at least ten protesters causing closures at junction 4, junction 7 and 8, junctions 8 to 9, junctions 13 to 14, junction 22, junction 23 to junction 27 and junction 30 of the M25.
Six junctions have now been successfully targeted for the third day in a row, which is acutely embarrassing for the police.
Chaos on the M25 AGAIN
The following junctions were hit by Just Stop Oil on Wednesday morning:
j4-5 blocked clockwise
j7-8 closed clockwise
j9-8 blocked anticlockwise
j14-13 blocked anti-clockwise
j23-27 closed clockwise (protest plus lorry crash)
j23-22 blocked anti-clockwise
j29-30 closed both ways
Scotland Yard said a person has locked themselves on to an overhead gantry near Junctions 24 and 25 – and they need a JCB digger to get them down.
The force said: ‘Locks add more complexity for our removal teams and the overall process becomes longer. We have had to bring in specialist equipment for this removal, including a JCB. Officers will endeavour to work swiftly and safely to open as quickly as possible.’
Officers appear to have been outfoxed by activists turning up at 6.30am – 30 minutes earlier than on Monday and yesterday – with ten eco-zealots able to get on to the road and many again climbing gantries and raising banners.
Just Stop Oil was joined by activists from Animal Rebellion, a group campaigning for ‘a plant-based food system’, with two of their members turning up at junction 13.
The number of protesters on the road again is deeply embarrassing for the police, who have been urged to get a grip. The Met said this morning that they were ‘ready to respond to any protest’ in a tweet at 6.56am – sent 26 minutes after the protesters were in the road.
Essex Police have suggested that one of the protesters getting on to the M25 caused the lorry crash at junction 27. Sharing a picture of the crash, and debris all over the road, the force said: ‘Officers intervened to deal with a protester on the motorway between Junction 26 and 27.
‘Due to this a rolling road block was put in place. Subsequently, there was a collision involving two lorries and a police motorbike’.
The condition of the police officer or the two lorry drivers is not yet known. Two people have been arrested.
Just Stop Oil admitted the crash was ‘awful’ but insisted they have ‘no option’ but to target the M25.
A spokesman said: ‘The collision of two lorries and the injury of a police officer on the M25 this morning is an awful situation.
‘The level of disruption being witnessed on the M25 should not be happening – people are rightly angry and frustrated.
‘The impact on peoples lives is huge. In normal circumstances this would be unacceptable. It should never have come to this.
‘The failure of our politics has left us with no other option as we seek to protect our rights and freedoms from a collapse in law and order due to a heating world.’
A lorry crash on the M25 between j27 and j28 today after a protester ran into the road. A police officer was also injured
Essex Police linked a protester to a lorry crash on the M25 this morning as Just Stop Oil were able to strike again
A specialist police officer tries to get a JSO protester off a gantry on the M25 this morning, believed to be at j30 for Lakeside
A JSO protester on another gantry on the M25 this morning as they outfoxed police yet again
Six junctions have now been successfully targeted for the third day in a row, in an acutely embarrassing situation for the police
Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow from Essex Police said: ‘Officers have again responded quickly to minimise disruption and two people have already been arrested.
‘One of our officers has been injured as they worked to help resolve this situation.
‘Our roads policing officers are dedicated, specialist officers who come to work to serve the public and keep you safe on our roads.
‘They do this tirelessly, day-in day-out.
‘Sadly, this morning one of these fantastic officers has been injured while carrying out this work. My thoughts are with them and their family.
‘I want to thank the public for their support, patience and understanding while we work to resolve this situation’.
One of the protesters, Isabel Rock, 41, an artist from South London said: ‘I’m doing this for my baby nephew and his unborn sister. I want them to have a chance at a future. I want this for all the children everywhere. I’ve had a life full of love and privilege, I want to give something back. The government is responsible for criminal inaction on the climate crisis. They should be in prison, not me’.
Sam Holland, 20, a former student from Leeds said: ‘I’m taking action because I have no choice. If governments across the world are allowed to drill for more oil and gas, we face a future of crop failure, starvation and social collapse. Civil resistance and mass disruption gives us a chance of forcing them to change. I am risking prison time.’
Yesterday, 15 supporters of Just Stop Oil climbed gantries on the M25 and disrupted traffic on the M25 at 9 locations. Since the campaign began on April 1, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested over 2,000 times, with 15 supporters currently in prison.
It comes after the eco-zealots caused carnage for commuters yesterday when they climbed gantries at 11 junctions on Britain’s busiest motorway, following similar scenes on Monday. Nurses were unable to get to hospital for work – or get home after a 12-hour night shift – while others missed flights. One bereft son missed his father’s funeral while broadcaster James Whale was among those who missed hospital appointments – his was for cancer.
M25 Traffic between junction 8 and 9 this morning as Just Stop Oil again managed to shut down the road
Traffic was already seen piling up on the M25 as Just Stop Oil began another day of disruptive action
Just Stop Oil said around 10 of its supporters climbed onto overhead gantries in ‘multiple locations’ on the M25 from 6.30am on Wednesday, in what is the third consecutive day of protests on the UK’s busiest motorway. They have been joined by activists from Animal Rebellion, a group campaigning for ‘a plant-based food system’.
Officers were also at Junction 30 of the M25, where one Just Stop Oil protester had climbed a gantry, while one person was stopped.
Police warned the action would cause disruption to traffic in the area.
Surrey Police confirmed one protester was on a gantry near Junction 8 on the motorway.
The force said: ‘Officers are proactively patrolling the rest of the M25, as they have been all week.’
The M25 is closed between Junctions 7 and 8 clockwise.
Kent Police said officers are responding to a report of protestors close to Junction 4.
The Metropolitan Police said on Twitter: ‘We’re ready to respond to any protest activity on £M25 with partner forces again today.
‘We know this disruption is incredibly frustrating for the public.
‘We will act as swiftly as possible to remove any individuals intent on obstructing the road and get traffic moving again.’
Just Stop Oil said in a statement: ‘This is not a one-day event, expect us every day and anywhere.
‘This is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project.
‘Our supporters will be returning today, tomorrow and the next day, and the next day after that, and every day until our demand is met: no new oil and gas in the UK.’
Just Stop Oil staged 32 days of disruption from the end of September and throughout October, which the Met said resulted in 677 arrests with 111 people charged, and officers working a total of 9,438 additional shifts.
The eco-mob is objecting the use of fossil fuels and is demanding the government agree to no new oil and gas licences.
So far today Just Stop Oil members have blocked lanes on junctions four, seven to eight and 30 (Pictured: Protester on gantry on junction 30 today)
The continued protests are deeply embarrassing for police, who appear to have been dodged again by men and women able to climb motorway gantries to shut the road.
Surrey Police said at 6.31am today: ‘There is one protester on a gantry near junction 8 but at the moment traffic is flowing normally.
‘Officers are proactively patrolling the rest of the M25, as they have been all week.’
Earlier this morning the force had warned would-be eco-zealots that ‘any criminality will be dealt with ASAP’.
It wrote on Twitter: ‘We’re proactively patrolling M25 again today in anticipation of further attempts to cause disruption.
‘Keeping traffic moving is key & any criminality will be dealt with ASAP. If you’re delayed, pls don’t ignore ‘red crosses’ or use hard shoulder – this impacts emergency vehicles.’
The repeated disruption comes despite National Highways securing a High Court injunction this week to prevent Just Stop Oil protesters disrupting England’s busiest motorway.
Surrey Police said at 6.31am today: ‘There is one protester on a gantry near junction 8 but at the moment traffic is flowing normally.’ Earlier this morning the force had warned would-be eco-zealots that ‘any criminality will be dealt with ASAP’.
The court granted a further injunction which aimed to stop unlawful demonstrations on the M25, which encircles Greater London, in an attempt to end disruption to the busy road by the environmental group.
It meant anyone entering the motorway and fixing themselves to any object or structure on it, and anyone assisting in such an act, could be held in contempt of court.
They could face imprisonment, an unlimited fine, and the seizure of assets.
The injunction was secured in addition to a court order obtained by National Highways earlier this year that targeted protesters including those from Insulate Britain.
National Highways’ existing injunction covers the M25, the M25 feeder roads and major roads in Kent and around the Port of Dover until May 2023.