Just Stop Oil activists block A22
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A climate activist who brought chaos to the M25 has been sentenced to six months in prison. Jan Goodey, 57, from Brighton, was arrested on November 7. In court, he pleaded guilty to intentionally causing a public nuisance on London’s motorway earlier this month.
Goodey brought traffic to a standstill for hours by climbing a gantry at junction 16 in a bid to convince politicians to scrap all new oil and gas contracts to mitigate the impact of climate change.
District Judge Daniel Benjamin, sentencing him at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, said: “I struggle to see what more the courts could have done to warn you this type of conduct goes beyond what is legitimate and acceptable by way of peaceful protest.”
The disruption Goodey caused was “significant” as he sparked “mile after mile of solid traffic on what is almost certainly the busiest motorway in this country”, the judge added.
He said: “On November 7, you deliberately set out to disrupt the lives of individuals doing no more than going about their lawful business. You wanted that motorway to come to a halt on that day.”
Just Stop Oil has been performing a series of stunts in order to protest government inaction about climate change. “Direct action” protests have seen them throw paint across buildings including Harrods and famous paintings protected by glass.
The group, which is an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, believes that traditional protesting has not had an impact on government policy. On the Just Stop Oil Twitter page, the group accused the judge of wanting to use Goodey’s arrest as a “deterrent”.
Its brand of disruptive protest has been met with plans from London’s Met Police to crack down by enforcing strict regulations giving officers more power to arrest and sentence protesters.
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Just Stop Oil said in a statement: “This shows that our Government would rather lock up peaceful protesters than put an end to new oil and gas, which will destroy everything we know and love. We will continue to do everything nonviolently possible to stop this horror. This is what Jan has done.”
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