More than 60 Just Stop Oil protesters have been arrested after the activist group carried out a demonstration in Westminster on Monday morning.
Demonstrators laid down and sat on the floor of every corner of Parliament Square after marching around the central London road in orange hi-vis jackets.
Many of the protesters were then placed into handcuffs by police after refusing to move off the floor.
The Metropolitan Police posted on social media: “Officers have arrested 62 Just Stop Oil activists who were in the road in Parliament Square”.
They added that its officers had arrived “within four minutes of receiving the initial report”.
The police force said the arrests were made under section seven of the Public Order Act.
🦺 | Officers are responding to a number of Just Stop Oil activists in the road.
This thread will outline our response throughout the day.
Officers will respond quickly to minimise disruption for Londoners.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) October 30, 2023
Officers can make arrests under section seven if a protester “disproportionately interferes with road transport infrastructure” – the Metropolitan Police said its officers will take into account “a person’s right to protest” before making an arrest.
Just Stop Oil activist Matt Cunningham, 26, told the PA news agency that he was taking part in the protest because the Government had “blatantly ignored its own climate advisers”.
The demonstrator, who had come from Suffolk to take part in the march, said: “I want a future, I want a family, I want a business and I can’t do that with a climate that’s not liveable.”
He added: “I have a five-month-old nephew and I can’t face the thought that his future is destroyed by people who don’t care and just want profit.”
Just Stop Oil protester Victoria Lindsell, 68, said: “We will stop the moment Rishi Sunak listens to our demands, which are no new licences for fossil fuels.”
Anita Kempf, 61, who was on holiday in London from Switzerland, said she thought the protest in Parliament Square would “not change anything”.
She added: “We should just ignore them. It doesn’t achieve anything protesting like that”.
Just Stop Oil posted on social media that 65 people were marching on Monday morning to demand “an end to new oil and gas”.
The activist group added in a post on X: “Ordinary people are in the road at Parliament Square, calling out our government’s genocidal policy of new fossil fuels.”