Just Stop Oil protests: Moment retired Anglican priest, 80, is arrested over road block in London
This is the moment an 80-year-old retired Anglican priest was arrested after a Just Stop Oil roadblock at a busy junction in central London this morning.
Rev. Sue Parfitt was among the 16 people arrested for causing gridlock as eco protesters sat in the middle of the road and displayed banners, as well as gluing themselves to the tarmac near Holborn tube station at around 10.50am, over demands the Government halts all new oil and gas production.
The Reverend has previously been arrested for a number of climate protests, and earlier this year quashed a conviction for her part in a protest which saw 20 people block entrances to Britain’s largest military site in December 2020.
As the pensioner was being led, arm-in-arm with a police officer to a waiting van, she said: ‘I am doing this because we are on the brink of the greatest catastrophe that human beings have ever known, and the Government and the public have to wake up to this.
‘The Government’s in extreme dereliction of its duty in not explaining the facts of climate change to the public.
‘If they did of course everybody would be in panic and they would be terrified and they would be persuading the Government to take the urgent action they need to take, which is to stop emissions and particularly not to dig up any fossil fuels.
‘That’s what we have to deal with now.’
Reverend Sue Parfitt pictured being led away by an officer to a waiting police van. Parfitt said while she was being arrested: ‘I am doing this because we are on the brink of the greatest catastrophe that human beings have ever known, and the Government and the public have to wake up to this’
Rev Sue Parfitt said ‘the Government’s in extreme dereliction of its duty in not explaining the facts of climate change to the public’ as she was being led away
The 80-year-old Anglican priest was among 16 people to be arrested for blocking a busy junction in Holborn this morning
Reverend Sue Parfitt was helped into the police van by two officers are being arrested for her part in blocking a junction earlier today
Rev. Sue Parfitt taking part in a Just Stop Oil protest in London earlier this month
Rev. Parfitt was arrested for sitting in her camp chair outside the MoD’s Abbey Wood site near Bristol and was found guilty of obstruction of a highway at Bristol Magistrates’ Court last June.
However, in March Bristol appeal court ruled that the Reverend had a ‘lawful excuse’ for her peaceful protest and that her use of the road was ‘reasonable’.
Rev. Parfitt was also acquitted earlier this year for climbing on top of a train at Shadwell DLR tube station and refusing to move until officers arrived in October 2019.
She was joined by two other Christian climate activists, Father Martin Newell, 54, who used a ladder to climb onto the roof of the Docklands Light Railway train, and Phil Kingston, 85, who superglued his hand to the side of the train.
The Reverend has been arrested during a number of climate protests including blocking Britain’s largest military site and Insulate Britain blockades
Parfitt pictured after she climbed on top of a DLR train with two other Christian climate activists at Shadwell tube station in October 2019
Rev. Parfitt joined on day 21 of protests by Just Stop Oil, only one day after the group sprayed orange paint across the world-famous Harrods before blocking all traffic outside, prompting furious members of the public to drag them from the road.
During today’s demonstration, some sat in the road with banners while others glued themselves onto the tarmac. Meanwhile, an angry motorist ripped a banner out of the hands of a protestor.
The Metropolitan Police said they had arrested 16 people blocking four junctions at Kingsway in central London.
Five protesters had glued themselves to the road and required being unstuck by a specialist team. 16 protesters were arrested for wilful obstruction of the highway connecting Kingsway and High Holborn.
Little over an hour after the roadblock started, police said the mob had been taken into custody at a central London police station, and all four junctions are now open.
Police said 16 eco protesters stopped traffic at a road junction near Holborn tube station this morning, but were arrested little over a hour later.
Cars have stopped as Just Stop Oil activists roadblock a busy junction in central London causing standstill traffic
An angry motorist ripped the banner out of the hands of a protestor after Just Stop Oil protestors caused a roadblock in Holborn this morning
The group is demanding the Government halts all new oil and gas production.
One protestor, Patrick Walker, 33, a council worker from Newport, said: ‘I realised then the government wouldn’t listen and I had to take action if I wanted a future for my family. I have no choice but to resist.’
Adam Beard, 53, a gardener from Stroud, said he was taking action because he’s ‘had enough of government lies and inaction on the climate crisis’.
He added: ‘I hope that my actions in support of Just Stop Oil will inspire other ordinary people like me to step forward and take a stand against this government’s disastrous energy policies.’
Today’s roadblock marks 21 days of protests that have wreaked havoc across the capital. Yesterday’s protest two eco-zealots splatter Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, central London, with orange paint at around 9am.
A further 20 supporters of the group glued themselves to Brompton Road, directly outside Harrods, with some using locks to attach themselves together.
A video shared on its Twitter page showed protesters spraying their distinctive orange paint on the windows of the luxury shop, as members of the public can be heard asking: ‘What are you doing?’
One furious man, dressed in a black suit, who is seen hauling and throwing banners away from the road, shouted ‘people have places to be’
Orange paint was sprayed across the world famous store earlier this morning as part of Just Stop Oil’s latest act of ‘civil disobedience’
Footage then appeared to show Harrods security staff taking those spraying paint inside the store.
This prompted furious members of the public to attempt to drag the protesters, all of whom are wearing orange jackets and holding a banner aloft, off the road as traffic was at a standstill.
One man, dressed in a black suit, who is seen hauling and throwing banners away from the road, shouted: ‘People have places to be instead of f*****g wasting time.’
Another man said: ‘How are you saving the planet? These cars are now kicking up more fumes.’
It comes as police have made around 555 arrests across 21 days of highly disruptive protests as Just Stop Oil continues its ‘civil resistance’ throughout October.
Pictured: Mother who died in M20 crash while ambulance was delayed by Dartford Crossing activists: Protesters behind two-day bridge closure are accused of having ‘blood on hands’
By Nick Fagge and Jessica Warren for MailOnline
Eco protesters were accused of having ‘blood on their hands’ after two women died on a motorway during the Just Stop Oil protest on Dartford Bridge.
Lisa Webber, from Swanley, Kent, was hit by a speeding BMW car and thrown into on-coming traffic when she had stopped on the hard-shoulder of the busy M20 motorway to help another driver who had lost control in heavy rain.
Builder Mark Heap, 55, also came to a halt to help release the female driver of the stricken grey Infinity Q30 car four hours after the protest began on Monday.
But both women and Mr Heap were run down by the BMW that attempted to avoid the huge traffic jam caused by the blockade of the vital M25 Thames River crossing.
From his hospital bed, Mr Heap, who suffered a broken back and a broken leg told MailOnline: ‘The eco-warriors may have thought it was an innocent protest, but they’ve got blood on their hands.
Eco protesters have been accused of having ‘blood on their hands’ after two women died on a motorway during the Just Stop Oil protest on Dartford Bridge. Pictured, Lisa Webber, a mother-of-four in her 50s, has been named as one of the victims
Two women died following the crash on the M20 on Monday, as traffic used the motorway to avoid the closed Dartford Bridge. Pictured, one of the victims, Ms Webber
Marcus Decker (left) and Morgan Trowland (right) have been charged with conspiracy to commit a public nuisance, which they deny
Mark Heap, a van driver who also tried to help, suffered broken bones in his back and a fractured leg
‘I don’t think they deliberately caused the crash.
‘But their actions, bringing the traffic to a stand-still on the M20, caused the crash in which those two women died.
‘There was another bad crash on the M2 at about the same time.’
One of the victims has been named as Lisa Webber, a mother-of-four in her 50s.
Her father Clive Kraus posted on Twitter to thank a group of tree surgeons who helped with ‘first aid and CPR’.
The other victim has been described as a GP in her 40s.
Drivers were using the M20 to avoid tailbacks when two protesters suspended themselves off Dartford Bridge, closing it for two days.
The crash, which came after a BMW X5 veered across the M20, happened on Monday at 8.20am, with ambulance crews reaching the scene after 40 minutes amid queuing traffic and delays due to the bridge closure.
Ms Webber, a mother-of-four, died in the M20 crash on Monday morning
Ms Webber, who is in her 50s, has been named as one of the victims of the crash on Monday
Drivers were using the M20 on Monday to avoid tailbacks when two protesters suspended themselves off the Dartford Bridge
Recalling the devastating crash Mr Heap, who suffered a broken back and a broken leg, told how he was thrown into the air by the speeding BMW.
He said: ‘The woman driver that crashed initially had aquaplaned because of the rain. Her Infinity car span out and hit the crash barrier.
‘She was a dark-haired lady in the car. She was hysterical.
‘I stopped to help her and Lisa [Webber] stopped as well. She was driving a black golf.
‘I went back to the scene and we all got hit by the BMW. I was squashed between the Infinity car and the crash barrier along with the driver.
‘Lisa got thrown the other side and into the traffic. It was awful.’
Former Met detective chief inspector Mick Neville said that Ms Webber (pictured) and the other victims of the crash ‘would probably not have been there’ had the ‘demo’ not taken place
Ambulance crews took 40 minutes to reach the scene (pictured) in Swanley, Kent. Police and fire crews were also called out
A team of tree surgeons from the firm Oxleas Tree Care, did their best to treat the injuries while an ambulance battled through the grid-lock traffic.
Mr Heap added: ‘The tree surgeons did a blinding job.’
Doctors have told Mr Heap, who is self-employed, that he must not return to work for the next two months.
His friends have now set up a GoFundMe page to help him and his wife Gill make ends meet while he is off work.
Four vehicles were involved in the incident — a grey Infiniti Q30 Sport, a black BMW X5, a black VW Golf and a white Iveco Daily van.
Those close to Mr Heap have set up a GoFundMe page to help him and his wife Gill make ends meet while he is off work. Pictured, the couple
Four vehicles were involved in the incident — a grey Infiniti Q30 Sport, a black BMW X5, a black VW Golf and a white Iveco Daily van
Former Met detective chief inspector Mick Neville told The Sun: ‘They may not have directly caused the M20 accident. But had their irresponsible demo not taken place, the women and van driver would probably not have been there.’
Police and fire crews were on the scene alongside ambulance crews.
Just Stop Oil has been approached for comment.
Officers from Kent Police’s serious collision investigation unit are working to establish the full circumstances surrounding the crash and are appealing to anyone with information or dash-cam footage to contact them.
Reports can be made by calling 01622 798538 citing reference SN/COJ/115/22.
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