Just Stop Oil activists have been causing more disruption this morning in London after a series of ‘slow marches’ take place to block traffic and, ironically, contribute to an increase in pollution.
Many of our readers will agree with the messaging behind the protest as the vast majority of us are concerned about the welfare of our planet – but the way this particular group goes about protesting is certainly controversial.
That point has been highlighted by a video Just Stop Oil has released this morning on its Twitter page that shows protestors being gently escorted off the road by police.
In typical fashion, Just Stop Oil said they had been ‘DRAGGED OFF THE ROAD’ (yes, in capitals), before going onto say they were ‘forcibly removed’. Make your own mind up here.
In another video that has circulated morning, an angry motorist has ran over the foot of a protestor who was blocking their way.
And yesterday’s commentary was even worse. In this video, a police officer tells a protester: 'A Section 12 condition has been imposed on this march under the Public Order Act by Chief Inspector Scammell. So the condition that has been put on the march is that you have to march on the pavement. If you don't, people that are marching on the road will be liable for arrest. That was imposed at 10.27am.'
What is Section 12 of the Public Order Act?
A Section 12 order under the Public Order Act 1986 relates to 'imposing conditions on public processions'. It states:
If the senior police officer, having regard to the time or place at which and the circumstances in which any public procession is being held or is intended to be held and to its route or proposed route, reasonably believes that -
(a) it may result in serious public disorder, serious damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community, or
(b) the purpose of the persons organising it is the intimidation of others with a view to compelling them not to do an act they have a right to do, or to do an act they have a right not to do, he may give directions imposing on the persons organising or taking part in the procession such conditions as appear to him necessary to prevent such disorder, damage, disruption or intimidation, including conditions as to the route of the procession or prohibiting it from entering any public place specified in the directions.
The rest of the back and forth can be read here;
'Is the chief inspector not able to come and give it to everyone?'
'I'm sorry, but our trust right now in the Metropolitan Police is very low, I don't know if you've heard, so I'd like the Bronze Commander to issue the Section 12.'
'Whether you've got trust or not, that doesn't really matter.'
'I understand, but the Bronze Commander is over there.'
'Bronze doesn't have to come and tell you that in person.'
'But how do I know that a Section 12 has been issued?'
'I told you that, I just told you. I gave you the name of the inspector who's authorised it. I can give you a time of it.'
'Which borough is it for, what is the jurisdiction?'
'At the moment it's for this street. If you protest in the middle of the road you are liable for arrest, that's what it is. It's been authorised at 10.27 this morning.'
The video then cut to Chief Inspector Scammell who said: 'I'm Chief Inspector Scammell, OK. We've assessed your march from cameras and TfL, there's been significant disruption.
'It's reached the point where I've now put a Section 12 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. Your procession must proceed on the footway.'
One protester asked him: 'What borough does this cover and until what time?'
Chief Inspector Scammell replied: 'It's this procession for now.'
'It doesn't cover the procession, it covers an area.'
'No, this procession needs to go on the footway. We have evidence of everyone in this procession.'
'I understand the procession element, but it has to be linked to an area.'
'No, it's just the procession. I'm not putting any directions on your procession, just where it marches, because we don't know where you are going to go. So it's this procession.'
Do you agree with the protests or do you wish the police were firmer with this group? Let us know in the comments