Just Stop Oil demonstrators marched through the Square Mile bringing it to a standstill today, with police saying it is “less likely” to arrest them due to their new tactics.
The environmental group marched slowly along Old Kent Road through the City and to South London, followed by three vehicles and 10 officers.
In the middle of Tuesday morning the group blocked Bank function in the City, holding up banners and protesting the issuing of new oil and gas contracts.
The City of London Police tweeted it is “aware of a small slow-walking protest group in the City of London. Officers are on scene to facilitate peaceful protest.”
The group has adopted a new tactic of slowly walking down busy roads, which is harder to prevent them from doing, and is not strictly against the law.
In previous months, demonstrators caused thousands of pounds of damage vandalising buildings such as the Bank of England and MI5. It also wasted hundreds of hours of police time with drawn out protests on the M25, suspension bridges and in busy parts of London.
Dealing with the protest from the start, the Metropolitan Police said “Just Stop Oil began a protest this morning from the Old Kent Road area.”
“The group was small and they walked between the road and the pavement and officers were with them throughout.”
“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 City of London Police has been asked why they weren’t arrested.
One activist from the group, Margaret Reid, 51, recently spent 7 weeks in prison for taking action with Just Stop Oil. She said action was being taken because “we are in a climate emergency right now. We no longer have the luxury of delay and indecision – that time is over.”
This comes as a number of court hearings are set to take place for Just Stop Oil activists who took part in M25 protests. This includes 17 supporters.
During six weeks of action, 700 arrests were made in total.