Eco zealots blocked two service stations on the M25 during rush hour, glued themselves to pumps and smashed them with hammers today.
Roughly 35 activists from protest group Just Stop Oil who blocked the filling station at Cobham Services in Surrey and the Clacket Lane Services in Kent at around 7am, blocking the entrances to the petrol pump area by sitting in the road with banners at both locations.
The group, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, has boasted of ‘causing disruption across the M25’ as supporters glued themselves to the tarmac and sabotaged petrol pumps by breaking the display glass and covering it with spray paint.
One demonstrator, Louis McKechnie, had stormed the pitch and zip-tied himself to the goalpost at Goodison Park during a football game between Everton and Newcastle United in March. He was today pictured smashing the petrol pumps at Cobham Services.
Motorists today vented their fury at the ‘clueless’ demonstrators and demanded the Government ‘please get on top of this issue’ – as Just Stop Oil revealed that since April 1, when activists first began blocking oil terminals, there have been more than 1,000 arrests after occupying oil processing facilities.
Surrey Police, who are currently dealing with the protesters, said the stunts were causing ‘considerable disruption’ and the pumps have all been switched off, and motorists are being diverted away from both service stations.
Activists from protest group Just Stop Oil block the filling station at Cobham Services on the M25 in Surrey
Louis McKechnie from Just Stop Oil damages pumps at the filling station at Cobham Services (left) today. Rght: McKechnie when he stormed the pitch and zip-tied himself to the goalpost at Goodison Park during the game between Everton and Newcastle United in March
Police arrive on the scene as activists from Just Stop Oil target a Shell Petrol station on the M25 motorway on April 28, 2022 in Cobham, England
Police are seen taking away the protesters’ sign and dragging one away at a Shell Petrol station on the M25 motorway today
Campaigners staging a protest in the BP petrol garage at the Clacket Lane services on the M25 in Westerham, Kent
Protesters from the group, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion , have recently occupied a number of oil processing facilities in order to highlight their demand that the government stops new oil and gas projects (pictured: Cobham today)
A hand is glued to the tarmac as activists from Just Stop Oil target a Shell Petrol station on the M25 motorway
Police officers speak to eco activists in the Shell petrol garage at the Cobham Services on the M25 in Cobham, Surrey
A Surrey Police spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We are currently dealing with two groups of protesters who turned up earlier this morning at Clacket Lane and Cobham Services.
‘Officers were called around 7.02am following reports that a group of protesters had turned up at Clacket Lane and were gluing themselves to pumps and signs on the petrol station forecourts. They were also blocking access to the pumps.
‘A further call was received around 7.06am that protesters were on site at Cobham Services petrol station and were damaging the pumps. One of the protesters had also glued himself to the top of lorry.
‘The pumps have all been switched off and motorists are being diverted away from both service stations.
‘We appreciate the considerable disruption this is causing and we are working as quickly as we can to remove the protesters from the site and allow both petrol stations to re-open.
‘Please bear with us while we continue to deal with these ongoing incidents.’
Nathan McGovern, 22, a student from Coventry taking part in the demonstration, said: ‘The world’s most vulnerable are dying from a fossil-fuelled nightmare right now, whilst our government proposes to drill for more oil and gas.
Motorists today vented their fury at the ‘clueless’ demonstrators and demanded the Government ‘please get on top of this issue’ – as Just Stop Oil revealed that since April 1, when activists first began blocking oil terminals, there have been more than 1,000 arrests after occupying oil processing facilities
‘I refuse to stand by and watch as heatwaves and drought murder people across the global South and families in the UK are forced to choose between eating and heating.
‘If politicians and bureaucrats refuse to act then it falls on ordinary people to do what they will not.’
In a video uploaded to the @JustStop_Oil Twitter account, he says: ‘I’m Nathan, I’m 22 years old, and just now this morning myself and others have blocked the entrance to the forecourt of this petrol station and disabled the petrol station.
‘None of us want to be here, none of us want to be doing this, none of us want to be disrupting the lives of the public but the criminal inaction on the climate crisis from our government has forced us into this.’
He adds: ‘This is madness, it is utterly genocidal.’
Another protester, 34-year-old Stephanie Golder – a charity project coordinator from Essex – said: ‘I’m sick and tired of being treated like a criminal for standing up for what is right.
Campaigners staging a protest in the BP petrol garage at the Clacket Lane services on the M25 today
A statement from the eco group admits that ‘some supporters also sabotaged the petrol pump by breaking the display glass and covering it with spray paint’
Roughly 35 activists from protest group Just Stop Oil blocked the filling station at Cobham Services in Surrey and the Clacket Lane Services in Kent at around 7am (pictured: The smashed petrol pump)
Protesters from the group, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, have recently occupied a number of oil processing facilities in order to highlight their demand that the government stops new oil and gas projects
‘The real criminals are those refusing to act on the climate emergency, it’s truly genocidal for our government to give new licences for oil exploration.
‘The poorest in this country need help with their energy bills now. But instead the government’s energy strategy fails to mention energy saving measures such as insulation and instead prioritises a ”plan” which puts us on a fast-track for climate chaos.’
‘The supporters of Just Stop Oil will continue the disruption until the government makes a statement that it will end new oil and gas projects in the UK,’ the group said.
‘The Just Stop Oil Coalition is calling on all of those whose futures are being destroyed, who are facing poverty now, and who are outraged at yet another betrayal by this continuing dependence on oil and gas, to step up and take action.’
Just Stop Oil described the sabotage of petrol pumps as ‘a significant escalation’.
The move is reminiscent of Insulate Britain’s protests between September and November last year, when M25 junctions were repeatedly blocked.
Just Stop Oil began its protests on April 1.
It has carried out a series of blockades of fuel terminals in south-east England and the Midlands, and targeted several high-profile football matches.
More than 1,000 arrests have been made.
The group said it will ‘continue the disruption until the Government makes a statement that it will end new oil and gas projects in the UK’.
Ten supporters arrested outside Kingsbury oil terminal on Wednesday are due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
They are charged with contempt of court relating to an injunction granted to North Warwickshire Borough Council which prohibited protests at the site.
The eco zealots causing havoc at petrol pumps: Just Stop Oil activists include jet-setting yachtswoman, 23, who travelled to Bali, ‘John Lennon lookalike’ who has been arrested 16 times, and rollerskater who turned her back on watchmaking
- Activists from Just Stop Oil have been hampering access to petrol and diesel for days with repeated protests
- Many have been involved with Extinction Rebellion, Animal Rebellion and Insulate Britain before joining JSO
- Do you know any of the people behind the Just Stop Oil campaign? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Martin Robinson for MailOnline
The green zealots trying to make Britain run out of fuel are a bunch of privileged students and professional protesters, MailOnline revealed earlier this month.
Activists from Just Stop Oil have been hampering access to petrol and diesel, demanding that the Government stops new fossil fuel projects by digging tunnels below refineries, vandalising tankers or storming the terminals to climb on to the pipes.
Essex Police has arrested hundreds of protesters since the disruption started on April 1 – while queues have formed at petrol stations across the country and some have even shut down due to a shortage of fuel.
One of the ringleaders is ‘John Lennon lookalike’ Louis McKechnie, a Bournemouth University graduate last seen ‘surfing’ on an oil truck in Essex on Friday. He became a poster boy for JSO after he tied himself to a goalpost to disrupt a Premier League at Everton last month.
Around 12 students were within the pipes at Grays Inter Terminal two weeks ago, including former boarding school choir girl and now Cambridge University student Cressie Gethin. With her in the rafters is student Nathan McGovern, another golden boy of the movement.
Also manning the barricades were Brighton-based activist Hannah Hunt, 23, another student with a taste for expensive hobbies and travel, and Eben Lazarus, who describes himself as a ‘musician and activist’.
And in the tunnels below the BP Kingsbury Oil Terminal in Warwickshire were retired vicar Tim Hewes, a veteran of the Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain movement who also sewed his lips together in protest against Rupert Murdoch.
Other members of the Just Stop Oil group, which is closely linked to the Extinction Rebellion, Animal Rebellion and Insulate Britain groups, is a rollerskating watchmaker and JSO’s official ‘de-escalator’, XR’s ‘arts co-ordinator’ and a Welsh organic farmer whose family business failed and he blamed climate change.
These are the protesters at the heart of the current chaos that is leaving millions of Britons short on fuel:
The Lennon-lookalike posterboy: Louis McKechnie
Louis McKechnie, 21, stormed the pitch and zip-tied himself to the goalpost at Goodison Park during the game between Everton and Newcastle United in March
From left: Louis McKechnie, Miranda Whelehan, Nathan McGovern, Claudia Penna Rojas and Cressida Gethin, during their Just Stop Oil press conference in central London
Nathan McGovern, 22, and Louis McKechnie, 21, say they have been disrupting operations at Grays oil depot, in Essex, after chaining themselves to pipes high up at the site
Louis McKechnie, 21, an engineering student, was charged with pitch encroachment and aggravated trespass after the incident at Goodison Park during the game between Everton and Newcastle United.
He stormed the pitch halfway through the match and zip-tied himself to the goalpost wearing a bright orange t-shirt saying: ‘Just stop oil.’ Louis said he has received ‘hundreds’ of death threats since running on to the pitch.
McKechnie is a Bournemouth University student whose activism began with Extinction Rebellion (XR) in 2020 before he joined vegan group Animal Rebellion.
The 21-year-old, whose experience of work appears to be only stints with a local fish-and-chip shop and supermarket, was one of the ‘Highway Nine’ Insulate Britain protesters jailed for blocking the M25 last year.
After serving half of a three-month prison sentence, he warned: ‘What comes next will make Insulate Britain look like child’s play.’
Rebel reverend: Tim Hewes
Reverend Hewes, who once sewed up his lips in protest at the influence of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, was also repeatedly part of the mob blocking the M25 despite already being arrested numerous times.
The activist has ‘permission to officiate’ in the Diocese of Oxford although he does not have a parish, and was earlier this month in tunnels under an oil tanker route.
Asked about Rev Hewes last year, a spokesman for the diocese said: ‘The actions of Rev Hewes and others, while arguably well-intentioned, have frustrated many people and we’re unclear how the actions have been productive in encouraging the urgent change required.’
Rev Hewes, a retired dentist, previously said the Bishop of Dorchester, Gavin Collins, who comes under the Diocese of Oxford, had told him ‘he does support issues regarding climate change and the environment but not about breaking the law’.
Reverend Hewes was repeatedly part of the mob blocking the M25 despite already being arrested numerous times
Reverend Hewes blockading the M25 with Insulate Britain and sewing his lips together in a bizarre attack on Rupert Murdoch
He was two weeks ago in a tunnel under a key tanker route to the BP Kingsbury Terminal in Warwickshire.
He said: ‘I’m here because our government is useless, they make a lot of noise but they are doing nothing.
‘As a priest I have a duty of care for people, and also for creation. What I’m doing here, with everyone in this caravan, is what our government should be doing – that is trying to protect our families and our loved ones from the appalling future that stands before us.
‘I hope we can continue what we’re doing and stop the flow of oil, if the government won’t.’
The jetsetting yachtswoman: Hannah Hunt
Pictured: Louis McKechnie and Hannah Hunt outside Downing Street in February
Ms Hunt’s Instagram shows her holidaying in locations including Australia, Greece, Gran Canaria and Bali (pictured)
She was earlier this month in the rafters of the Grays refinery, with Eben Lazarus (pictured together)
Hannah seen at the Grays oil depot
The JSO protester is from Brighton, a common home town for Green zealots.
Miss Hunt is a former XR supporter who broke into an ExxonMobil Oil refinery in Hampshire. She also posed with Mr McKechnie outside Downing Street with a letter for Boris Johnson.
She also glued herself to the red carpet at the Bafta awards and admits to experiencing severe anxiety before a protest. But describing her state after starting she said she enjoys ‘a weird, dreamy, calm mindset’ she finds empowering.
The Brighton-based activist studied at Sussex University, where she joined the sailing team. Her Instagram shows her holidaying in locations including Australia, Greece, Gran Canaria and Bali.
She was last month in the rafters of the Grays refinery, with Eben Lazarus, a musician and activist also from Brighton. Sharing a video she said they were ‘cold and uncomfortable’ 17 hours into their protest, but added: ‘But that suffering is minute compared to those in the frontline of the climate crisis’.
Eben then encourages people to ‘step up’ and join protests because ‘nobody can be a bystander if we want any chance of a future’.
XR’s ‘arts-co-ordinator’: Indigo Rumbelow
Eco-fanatic Indigo Rumbelow, 27, from Gower, South-West Wales, has been arrested at least five times. In a Zoom call watched by The Mail on Sunday, she told activists: ‘We want to create sustained disruption for two weeks.’
Describing her motivations, Miss Rumbelow said: ‘My generation is being forced into action because our Government is destroying our future. We will immediately end all actions when it makes a statement that it will stop all new oil and gas.’
Indigo was first arrested at Cannes Lions Advertising Festival in 2019 for gate-crashing a Facebook conference and has been held by police on at least six occasions since then.
In 2020 she began digging up the lawn in front of the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government and was arrested again in Parliament Square later that year when she blocked the road.
Justifying her behaviour recently she said: ‘The only thing to do in a system that is driving itself to extinction is to rebel. If we look at the history books, we can see that the only way of creating the nonlinear change we need is for people to commit civil disobedience and force that change.
‘Currently too few people are taking the necessary action. I urge anyone reading this article to realise that they too can rebel. In order to prevent ecosystem and societal collapse, at this pivotal moment in history, ordinary people need to take extra-ordinary action’.
The rollerskating watchmaker: Amy Rugg-Easey
One of the abseilers was serial protester Amy Rugg-Easey (pictured after being arrested), a Labour voting watchmaker and rollerskater from Newcastle upon Tyne
People are questioning how protesters were able to shut down central London again. Miss Rugg-Easey (pictured), describes herself as a ‘rebel for life’
Miss Rugg-Easey was involved in shutting down Tower Bridge on April 8. She and an unnamed man threw themselves off the bridge using abseil ropes and tiers a giant ‘End fossil fuels now’ banner.
The Labour-voting voting watchmaker and rollerskater from Newcastle upon Tyne describes herself as a ‘rebel for life’.
Describing her descent into eco-activism she said: ‘I quit my career in watchmaking to study environmental science after listening to science podcasts while working at my bench. I remember thinking at the time ‘it can’t be that bad’. Climate change was something that you heard about every now again in the news as if it was the weather. When I really started to look at the facts, I started to panic. I felt a need to do something about it.
When I began my degree, I had already been to a few Extinction Rebellion meetings and their famous ‘heading for extinction’ talk. ‘It can’t be that bad’ I thought. I’d hoped that when I started studying, the things I would learn would show that that talk had been a huge exaggeration. Unfortunately, that was not the case’.
Describing the abseiling stunt she said: ‘I was terrified stepping off that bridge. I decided to put my name out and wear my signature blue jacket hoping that people I’ve met would recognise me and realise that climate activists are just normal people too. I also know that it creates a target on my back. Certain people will wish that I’d died on that bridge today. I know that it makes my mum worry.
‘I’m hoping my actions inspires others to be brave and take their first steps in fighting for our future. Not everyone has to hang off a bridge and get arrested, but everyone has to take meaningful action for things to change’.
The Cambridge music student: Cressie Gethin
Cressida Gethin during a Just Stop Oil protest
Miss Gethin, a former student of the prestigious Hereford Cathedral School, was among the group holding up the Grays refinery. She appears to be one of the five main founders of Just Stop Oil.
Cressie, a music student from Murray Edwards at Cambridge University, has been campaigning on climate issues at her college.
She told The Tab: ‘I was very very surprised that Murray Edwards came out bottom of the league tables for their climate policies because I had imagined it was something they would have cared about and been active on’.
The talented chorister has performed with her brother, also a singer.
The LBC mic gluer: Nathan McGovern
Nathan McGovern held up an oil refinery with his comrades
Mr McGovern invaded the Tottenham v West Ham match and was dragged off the pitch after he failed
Mr McGovern, from Just Stop Oil, said that presenter Tom Swarbrick was not using his ‘massive platform’ to tell people about the climate ‘situation’
The Coventry activist has flirted with XR and Animal Rebellion and disrupted a game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Coventry activist has flirted with XR and Animal Rebellion and disrupted the game after finishing a Masters degree in religion at King’s College London earlier this year
He spoke to Tom Swarbrick in LBC’s Westminster studio when he glued his hand to the microphone at around 11.40am.
Mr McGovern said that the station was ‘not using’ its ‘massive platform’ to inform listeners of the dangers of the climate crisis
Speaking live, Mr McGovern said to Mr Swarbrick: ‘You have a massive platform, a microphone that you can use to tell people about the situation we’re in and you’re not using it.
‘An ordinary person like me is having to take the microphone and tell your viewers the situation we are in.’
The LBC presenter said: ‘For those of you listening wondering what the banging on the microphone is, Mr McGovern seems to have, you’ve glued yourself to the microphone? That’s fantastic.’
After the incident, LBC presenter and Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce took over the live programme from Global’s Leicester Square, before handing back to Mr Swarbrick when arrived there.
During this time, Mc McGovern was left in the studio in the dark while waiting for police to arrive.
He appeared as a spokesperson for Animal Rebellion advocating a ‘plant-based food system’ on Nigel Farage’s GB News show in October 2021.
After the disruption, the group tweeted: ‘Every new oil and gas facility tightens the noose around the necks of our young people. If the media will not communicate their predicament they will have no choice but to take the microphone.’
Just Stop Oil’s ‘de-escalator’: Pavel Ivanov
Mr Ivanov is reported to diffuse rows that break out at the protests when JSO’s members shut down roads, for example.
A Guardian report described the ‘astonishing’ abuse they suffer, in a tacit admission that they are struggling to win over many of their critics.
In one incident linked to the blockading of oil refineries, one driver who had protesters on his roof said: ‘If the police weren’t here, I’d come up and f**king throw you off myself.’
Another activist with a ladder was told: ‘You put that up there, mate, and I’m going to ram it down your f**king throat’.
Mr Ivanov claims n one occasion someone got him by the throat as friends were heckled: ‘You look like you’re just out of nappies. Go and get a f**king job’.
JSO’s graphic designer who won’t have a baby until she tries to ‘fix the world’: Gabriella Ditton
Gabriella Ditton, 27, blocks a tanker in East Anglia
Another JSO activist is graphic designer Gabriella Ditton, 27, from Norfolk, who was arrested for blocking oil trucks on Friday.
In a newspaper interview, Ms Ditton – who attended Wymondham College in Norfolk, where annual boarding fees are more than £12,000 – bragged: ‘I’ve been arrested 16 times and it’s honestly fine.’ She has stripped naked and covered her body in oil at protests.
The group said: ‘Gabriella would love nothing more than to have a family and continue her career as a graphic designer, but feels those things aren’t an option for her anymore because of the state of the world’.
The 27-year-old, who works as an animator, became hooked after going to an Extinction Rebellion talk. She said: ‘I was getting my life in order to have a baby and went to the Heading for Extinction talk. I realised I couldn’t bring a baby into the world before trying to fix it first.
‘I started the way everyone does, with petitions, emailing my MP, going on marches. But I realised it doesn’t work. In the future, I want to be able to say with total sincerity that I did everything I could and really mean it. I’m so frightened about society falling apart – I’m so deadly terrified that I will do literally anything to prevent it from happening’.
Organic farmer and XR co-founder who branded the Holocaust ‘just another f**kery in human history’: Roger Hallam
Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, being arrested while setting up a toy drone inside London Heathrow airport’s exclusion zone during a protest in September 2019
Roger Hallam is the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion who believes paralysing traffic will eventually cause food shortages and trigger uprisings.
He once stood unsuccessfully in the 2019 European Parliament election in the London constituency as an independent, winning 924 of the 2,241,681 votes cast, which was around 0.04 per cent of the vote.
He became interested in climate change in his 40s when an organic farm he ran in south Wales went bankrupt because of extreme weather conditions.
Hallam went on hunger strike in 2017 to demand King’s College London stop investing in fossil fuels. His stated ambition for the group is to ‘bring down all the regimes in the world and replace them’, starting with Britain.
He encouraged his followers to get arrested at demonstrations en-masse as a way of raising awareness of climate change.
In a recent video on YouTube, he said protesters should be ready to cause disruption through personal ‘sacrifice’. If necessary, they ‘should be willing to die’.
In 2019 he apologised for comments he made describing the Holocaust as ‘just another f**kery in human history’.
Hallam, 55, sparked outrage in Germany by comparing the murder of six million Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis to other historical massacres and claiming that the memory of the Shoah – or Holocaust – was holding Germany back.
The former organic farmer was quickly condemned by Extinction Rebellion groups in Germany, as well as the German government after his comments to a newspaper in the country.
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