Environmental protesters block service stations on M25 for second day
Protesters in the United Kingdom are taking it into their own hands to force the government to stop investing in oil and gas.
Supporters of the environmental campaign Just Stop Oil blocked on Wednesday three service stations on the M25, a major road that encircles the majority of Greater London, in their second day of action this week in a bid to force the hand of the British government to end new projects revolving around oil and gas extraction and pumping.
32 supporters of the campaign took action from 5 am at Cobham services in Surrey, Clacket Lane services in Kent, and Thurrock services in Essex, Just Stop Oil said.
The protesters blocked access to gas pumps by sitting on the road with banners, while others broke the display glass of gas pumps, locking themselves onto them or spraying over the display glass.
Police officers in Surrey said their officers made 20 arrests in light of the protests in Cobham and Cracket Lane services, leading to the former reopening eventually, though with limited access to gas. Clacket Lane, on the other hand, remained closed in both directions due to the damaged pumps.
The Just Stop OIl campaign underlined that the protest was carried out with the intention of putting "further pressure on petrol and diesel supplies for the south-east ahead of the August bank holiday weekend."
Just one day earlier, dozens of supporters staged blockades, trespasses, and tunnel protests at several oil terminals in Essex and Warwickshire, which led to the disruption of energy deliveries.
Just Stop Oil said 35 of its supporters were subsequently arrested for taking part in that protest, with nine due in Birmingham crown court for breaking injunctions.
"Just Stop Oil continues acts of civil resistance in the face of government repression, while 46 new North Sea oilfields are greenlighted, as the UK faces climate-induced drought, record wildfires, and the most extreme heat ever recorded," the environmental group said.
"This climate crisis is unfolding as the worst cost of living crisis since the 1930s hits, with millions being forced into destitution as oil and grain companies make record profits and famine stalks the world," it explained.
Last month, an emergency climate briefing was held in the UK parliament: Only 60 of 650 UK MPs were committed to attending the briefing. The briefing was based on the slides that were presented to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson prior to Glasgow's UN climate summit, COP26, that took place back in November of 2021.
This comes days after UK infrastructure chief John Armitt said England has been failing to invest in the water networks needed to avoid recurring droughts in the future, as the current policies amount to the government "keeping [its] fingers crossed."
Drought was declared in 8 of 14 of England's regions after a meeting among the National Drought Group, a committee made of ministers, civil servants, water companies, and conservation groups.
Five water areas have so far assembled hosepipe bans, although farmers have sent out calls for more as ministers were notified that farmers have been facing damages for up to half their crops.
The Kingdom is still investing more and more in oil, harming the environment, while abandoning its water networks.
The estimated cost of refurbishing the UK's water networks is £20 billion ($24.17 billion) by 2050, which is significantly less than the £27 billion ($32.63 billion) that Downing Street has allocated for new roads recently, which campaigners are saying isn't necessary.
Armitt has called for a national debate on how to fund water network repairs, and although the two Tory candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have called for action, they have not set out clear-cut proposals on investing in projects.