Dozens of environmental protesters have been arrested in an attempt to ‘occupy’ Westminster.
Protests that have brought streets to a standstill have continued for a fourth day in central London.
The demonstrations are being led by the group Just Stop Oil against new drilling in the North Sea.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that 54 protesters were being held at different police stations on suspicion of blocking a motorway.
Protesters chanting “No More Oil” descended on Downing Street before marching down the road to Parliament Square.
Some protesters glued themselves to the road to block it, a tactic that’s becoming common among eco-groups.
The demonstration was held in response to plans by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), the body representing Britain’s offshore energy sector, which hopes to launch another round of oil and gas licenses in October.
Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg has endorsed the plans, stating: “With Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and energy arming, strengthening our energy security is an absolute priority.”
Alan Woods, a business owner and Just Stop Oil supporter, said: “I will be out of business unless we pressure our government to stop all new oil and gas wells, invest in renewable energy and introduce insulation.”
The 58-year-old continues: “The solution to the energy crisis and the climate crisis are the same – we are at a crossroads. The government has to make the right choice.
‘As a business owner in my 40s I have seen many challenges but the climate and energy crisis is the most important issue of our time – so I need to be here if I should be back in Wigan to run my business.’
Just Stop Oil has vowed to continue its campaign until the government meets its demands, which means no more new oil and gas projects will be approved in the UK.
A Met spokesman said: “Officials arrested 54 protesters on suspicion of willfully obstructing the freeway.
“They have been taken into custody at various London police stations, where they remain.
“By approximately 2:30 p.m., officers had reopened the approaches to Parliament Square.”
The force previously said 31 people were arrested in central London on Sunday.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/10/04/london-54-just-stop-oil-supporters-arrested-during-westminster-protest-17504154/ London: 54 Just Stop Oil supporters arrested during protests in Westminster