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JUST STOP OIL: St Albans resident arrested for role in M25 protests

 Published on: 11th November 2022   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

A St Albans resident was at the heart of protests which caused widespread disruption for residents across the St Albans area and beyond this week.

On four consecutive mornings from November 7 to 10, whilst world leaders convened at 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, multiple Just Stop Oil (JSO) supporters demanded the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents.

Demonstrators climbed onto the overhead gantries of the M25 in multiple locations, including London Colney and Bricket Wood, causing police to halt traffic and considerably impacting St Albans residents on their day-to-day commutes.

One of the first protesters was 24-year-old St Albans resident Louise Harris. Louise has long supported the JSO movement, being involved in many actions, including the invasion of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium during a Premier League tie vs. West Ham United earlier this year.

Prior to the M25 protests, Louise said: “What we are asking for is a liveable future, but our government are acting like that is a luxury. What we are asking is for the government to listen to all of the world’s leading climate scientists, the United Nations, and the International Energy Agency when they say ‘no new fossil fuels’. Why aren’t they listening? Why aren’t our government doing their lawful duty and protecting their citizens from irreversible climate catastrophe and social collapse? They are driving us even faster towards mass crop failure, starvation, water scarcity and war. This is an act of murder. Why isn’t everybody on the streets? Why isn’t everybody fighting back? Make no mistake – this is an act of self-defence. Join us, before it’s too late.”

Whilst on an M25 gantry, Louise filmed a distressed plea on the verge of tears, saying “You might hate me for doing this, but I wish you would direct all that anger and hatred at our government”.

Whilst JSO argues that the inconveniences of their protests in the present are dwarfed by the consequences of continued oil extraction in the future, many residents were adversely affected by the traffic and delays caused by the JSO stunts.

Resident Chammelle Courtney told StAlbansNews: “I absolutely do not support these ridiculous protests. I missed a hospital appointment because of the chaos they have caused.

“All they are doing is creating chaos and mayhem for many of thousands of people. If they want to protest there are other ways to deal with this. This is not the way.”

Traffic forced another resident who wished to remain nameless to be an hour late for their cancer treatment appointment, with one of the nurses treating them arriving another hour and a half after that.

They said: “It’s so unfair on the hardworking doctors and nurses to give them this disruption. The actions of the protesters are so indiscriminate. I drive an electric car and do all I can to help the environment. But these protestors put people’s lives at risk. Throw paint at walls or glue yourself to some glass – but please don’t put innocent lives at risk with this thoughtless and unreasonable behaviour. I care about the future, but also about the here and now.”

Louise was amongst the dozens of protesters arrested by police. She appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday, November 8, and was sent to prison until a hearing scheduled for December 6 at Southwark Crown Court.

Photo credit: Just Stop Oil

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