Six arrested after climate activists scale oil tanker in central London

Six people were arrested after climate-change activists clambered on top of an oil tanker in central London on Saturday.

Environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion said three people in Bayswater Road had climbed on top of the Shell tanker where they held up an “End fossil filth” banner while other demonstrators gathered around the vehicle. Among those taking part in the protest were Olympic gold medal-winning canoeist Etienne Stott and fellow British Olympian Laura Baldwin. “I am acting to try to disrupt the toxic fossil fuel industry that is destroying everything we hold dear,” Stott told reporters.

Images from the scene show campaigners holding Extinction Rebellion flags. The Metropolitan police said six individuals had been arrested for vehicle interference and added that the road was reopened by noon. The incident was the latest in a coordinated series of Easter protests by demonstrators who are calling for a halt in all investment in fossil fuels in the UK.

On Thursday, four activists glued themselves to the top of an Eddie Stobart fuel tanker at the Chiswick roundabout that feeds traffic from west London on and off the M4. From the side of the lorry, they draped flags protesting about Britain’s use of fossil fuels.

And on Friday, hundreds of protesters blocked Waterloo, Blackfriars, Lambeth and Westminster bridges in London as part of their campaign. No arrests were made, police said.

These protests continued across London on Saturday. According to the Met, activists were walking through central London where they “stopped at various locations along their unspecified route, causing disruption”. Later in the day, campaigners gathered for a major demonstration in Hyde Park.

Meanwhile, Warwickshire police said nine people have been charged after a separate climate activist group, Just Stop Oil, held a demonstration at an oil terminal in Kingsbury, near Tamworth in Staffordshire. A dozen activists locked themselves on to pipes there as part of their campaign to get the government to halt all new oil and gas projects.

Similar demonstrations have also occurred at the Navigator oil terminal in Thurrock and Grays oil terminal, both in Essex, and follow the decision by a number of key operators – including Navigator, ExxonMobil and Valero – to obtain injunctions to try to prevent protesters from blocking operations there.

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