Just Stop Oil protesters block central London petrol stations | Just stop the oil

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Environmental protesters took action at petrol stations in central London, vandalizing pumps, blocking entrances and spray-painting ‘no new oil’ on signs.

The Just Stop Oil campaign said 51 of its supporters took part in protests at seven petrol stations on Friday morning. Some groups staged sit-in protests at entrances or stuck to pumps, while others moved from station to station, damaging pumps.

“Today’s action has been timed to coincide with Ofgem’s announcement of a massive rise in electricity bills for October which will push millions more into poverty, forced to choose between heating and feed,” the group said.

Friday’s protests were the third day of action taken by Just Stop Oil supporters this week, after a hiatus over the summer. The group says it is bracing for massive Westminster lockdowns in October.

The Metropolitan Police tweeted: ‘Protesters targeted a number of petrol stations this morning causing disruption [and] damage the pumps. Officers are at each of the targeted locations, we have made a number of arrests [and] specialized teams remove those that are stuck to the pumps.

Phoebe Frewer, from Brighton, was among nine protesters blocking access to a BP garage on Western Avenue around 6.30am. Electronic displays on pumps were smashed and spray-painted, station signage tagged and police were parked nearby with flashing blue lights. An activist was arrested and taken away, according to other people at the scene.

“We chose this location because it is in the 99th percentile of the worst pollution in the UK,” said Frewer, 20. “There is a study done by Imperial College London in 2019 and they basically said that every year on average around 4,000 people die from air pollution in London alone.

“That equates to around 11 deaths per day. That is why we are here at this particular place.

A woman sprays a message reading ‘no new oil’ on a sign outside a BP petrol station during the Just Stop Oil protest on Friday. Photography: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Selma Heimedinger, 22, from Hampshire, sat nearby glued to the hose of a broken petrol pump, along with two other protesters. She told the Guardian: ‘We are taking action here today because oil is killing people now around the world and in the UK, and the government thinks it is okay to go ahead with 40 new oil and gas licenses.

“We have eight years to transition to renewables and all the science tells us we can’t have new fossil fuels, and yet the government thinks it’s okay to carry on as if everything is fine.”

Just Stop Oil kicked off its new direct action campaign on Tuesday, with blockades of major oil terminals in Essex and Warwickshire, followed by action at service stations on the M25 motorway on Wednesday.

Thursday’s actions were canceled due to heavy rain. Some protesters remain in tunnels under two access roads to Essex oil terminals, one of which has been closed while the other remains open.

The campaign kicked off on April 1 and its supporters pledged to continue until the government agrees to a moratorium on all new oil and gas extraction projects.

Just Stop Oil said: “Now is the time to come together and resist. We are not ready to just watch as they destroy everything we love. We are done with begging. The vote didn’t change anything. We are going to shut down new oil whether those in power agree or not.

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