just stop oil StClementsWay_Essex_28082022

Environmental activists from Just Stop Oil are continuing their attempts to disrupt deliveries of fuel from the Navigator oil terminal in Essex.

There were a series of protests at terminals in Essex and Warwickshire in May and they restarted early last week, followed by actions at M25 service stations and on forecourts in London.

On Sunday up to 10 people stopped an oil tanker on St Clements Way, Grays, while one climbed on top and others deflated the tyres.

The group also claimed tunnellers extended their excavations further under the carriageway and broke through the road surface from below.

Sam, 39, a groundworker from Suffolk occupying the tunnel said: “We have asked every day for the road to be shut, but the police have continued to dismiss our concerns for public safety. We have an ongoing situation where trucks weighing over 40 tonnes are driving directly over an occupied tunnel putting our lives and those of the drivers at risk.

“It was my choice to occupy this tunnel and I will accept the consequences because I can’t stand by and let the government continue with its plans to fast track up to 46 new oil and gas projects. This will do nothing for our skyrocketing energy bills and will put millions of people unknowingly or unwillingly at risk of serious harm from climate collapse.”

In a statement on Monday Essex Police said: “We were called at around 8pm yesterday (28 August) following reports of a group of people obstructing the road and an oil tanker.

Our officers acted quickly to remove the group. The road was temporarily closed but re-opened around 3am this morning. Eight people were arrested on suspicion of offences including going equipped to cause criminal damage. They remain in custody.

On Tuesday assistant chief constable Glen Pavelin said: “We remain in the local area following a number of illegal and dangerous protests where 60 people have been arrested so far.

“Last night, two people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance. These individuals were stopped by our officers, who noticed them in the area acting suspiciously.

“This week, we have reached out to this group, hoping to engage with them in order to possibly help them facilitate a legal, peaceful protest, which doesn’t cause this level of disruption in Essex.

“My position on this has not changed and I continue to encourage those involved in these protests, to re-evaluate the action they are taking.”

Stoneness Road was reopened on Monday evening. Work is under way to repair damage caused to the road and traffic is expected to remain slow in the area.