Just Stop Oil protesters attempt to scale Downing Street gates as they vow to pause campaign

A Just Stop Oil activist sits in the middle of Whitehall in Westminster Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Just Stop Oil climate activists took to their protest to Rishi Sunak on Tuesday as a handful of demonstrators attempted to climb the gates of Downing Street.

Several members of the environmental group glued themselves to Whitehall on their 32nd day of protest as they called on the government to stop new oil and gas licences.

A video posted on the group's Twitter shows armed police preventing protesters from jumping over a smaller gate in front of the main entrance and remove one woman who was already climbing the larger gates.

Activists were dragged by officers towards police vans.

The protest is set to be the group's last for while as it said it is pausing its campaign to give time to "those in the government who are in touch with reality to consider their responsibilities to this country at this time".

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said: “Rishi Sunak is about to U-turn on attending Cop27.

“We demand that he also U-turn on new oil and gas. This genocidal policy will kill millions of people, while failing to address the worst cost of living crisis this country has ever seen.

“It’s time for a serious windfall tax on big oil, without the get-out-of-jail-free tax credits that will encourage more oil and gas that we cannot afford.

“Vulnerable people will be freezing to death in their homes this winter, unable to afford a can of soup, while his government refuses to tax the rich and the big energy companies that are profiting from our misery.

A Just Stop Oil activist sits in the middle of Whitehall in Westminster. Credit: PA

“We owe it to our young people to stop fossil fuels, we owe it to our workers to create a just transition to a zero-carbon economy, we owe it to our old people to enable them to live with dignity. We are not prepared to stand by and watch while everything we love is destroyed.”

Several videos posted on Just Stop Oil’s Twitter feed showed protesters marching through Trafalgar Square where they were followed by rows of police officers as the activists chanted: “No new oil, no new gas, no new coal, insulate Britain, we are Just Stop Oil”.

One protester shouted “this isn’t what democracy looks like” while pointing towards the crowd of police.

Another one said: “This is how a peaceful protest gets policed these days. This is ridiculous.”

The group of activists also chanted: “Protests will continue.”

The Metropolitan Police tweeted that they were aware of protesters blocking the road by Trafalgar Square and that officers were “rapidly on the scene” and were “dealing” with the situation.

The force has been contacted for further comment.

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The latest protest comes a day after a High Court judge ordered more than 180 named Just Stop Oil protesters not to block roads in London.

Mr Justice Freedman granted an injunction at a High Court hearing in London on Monday after an application by Transport for London.

Another judge had recently made an order against 62 named people.

Mr Justice Freedman continued that injunction and ruled that an order should also be made against a further 121 named people.

Lawyers representing TfL had told him that since the start of October “protest activity” had “very largely focused” on London roads.

They said the “deliberate blocking” of roads caused serious disruption and created a “risk to life”.

People who breach civil court injunctions can be found to be in contempt and jailed.