Just Stop Oil protesters warned not to disrupt the London Marathon

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Just Stop Oil protesters have been warned not to disrupt the London Marathon by the mayor of London, who said they face police action if emergency services are hampered by planned demonstrations.

Sadiq Khan told ITV News that while he understands the importance of climate change, the Metropolitan Police will step in if any protests that go ahead are not "peaceful or safe and lawful".

It comes as the group is planning its two-day mass demonstration “Occupy Westminster" to begin the day before the race on Saturday 1 October, at Euston, Paddington and Waterloo stations.

The mayor urged protesters to think of the charities who will benefit from the money raised by the Marathon and advised them not to act in a way that will alienate members of the public it hopes to recruit.

"I'm somebody who declared some years ago a climate emergency," he said. "I understand completely the importance of tackling climate change. This summer we saw heatwaves with temperatures we've never seen before.

"All I say to those who are planning to protest over the next few days and weeks is think of protesting in a way that encourages people to join your cause and not drives people away."

The mayor pointed out that some of the 40,000 participants in this year's event are running for climate change charities.

"In the last few months there have been thousands of people training for the London Marathon - they will be raising million of pounds for charity, some of whom help tackle climate change."

He warned that while police will ensure "the right to protest and free speech" officers will step in if protests become unsafe or unlawful.

"Police will make sue their response is proportionate," he added. "There are concerns around public disorder and concerns about crucial arteries where emergency vehicles have to travel."

"We have to make sure they are free for those blue light services," he continued.

"It's important for those protesting to recognise, 'Is what I'm doing likely to encourage businesses, Londoners and others to join the cause, or drive them away?'"

Just Stop Oil has described the October protests as "just the beginning" of an "autumn of action".

It is calling for the government to stop licensing new oil and gas projects, tax billionaires who pollute the environment, invest in insulating homes and lower the cost of energy bills and public transport.

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