Extinction Rebellion blocks access to oil facility near Heathrow Airport

Protesters arrived at 4am Monday. Credit: XR

Protesters have blocked access to the Esso West oil facility near Heathrow Airport, as part of a series of blockades across the country.

Organised by Extinction Rebellion, around 30 people could be seen blocking the entrance with two bamboo structures.

This is the fourth day in a row in which oil facilities across the UK have been blocked as part of ongoing action by Extinction Rebellion and the Just Stop Oil coalition. 

Over the weekend Just Stop Oil continued to block oil depots in Grays, Purfleet, Buncefield, Tamworth and Central Birmingham. 

The group says they 'will not stop' until the government stops all fossil fuel investments.

XR was previously at the facility on Friday Credit: XR

Extinction Rebellion (XR) has announced that it will launch daily “mass participation” protests from London’s Hyde Park, beginning on April 9.

Spokesman Andrew Smith said on Friday that the group will be "more disruptive than ever" as it encouraged people to speak out against what it called "government inaction".

Today, talking about the protest near Heathrow, he said:

“We’re here to say that climate action cannot wait. Right now, governments are choosing to exploit the crisis in Ukraine to hand out oil licences and continue the fossil fuel economy that’s destroying us.

"They are exploiting public fear and disorientation at a time of crisis when people’s bills are going up to advance corporate-friendly policies incapable of attracting democratic support.

“The reality is, the UK public wants faster action on climate as the energy crisis hits. We know what is happening and what needs to be done – by acting in favour of corporate interest over the will of the people, the government is showing contempt for the people who elected them.

"How long ago did our Prime Minister say COP26 was our last chance to save humanity? And now they’re sidelining climate policy once again. This is not living in reality.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for ExxonMobil said, "A small protest is currently underway outside our West London terminal, one of our five fuel terminals.

"While we respect the right to peaceful protest, our priority is the safety of our people, our neighbours, the protestors and our operations.

"We are working with the Police on site to ensure that safety is maintained.

"We empathise with anyone from the local community experiencing any inconvenience resulting from the actions today of this group."