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Suella Braverman blasts 'selfish eco-zealots' causing 'misery' in stern warning to police

NewsSuella Braverman blasts 'selfish eco-zealots' causing 'misery' in stern warning to police

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has slammed Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil “eco-zealots” causing misery to millions of drivers, as well as warning the police that they must act when the climate activists pass the threshold for legal protesting. Her warning comes after furious drivers have been filmed being told off by officers for trying to move climate protesters from the roads.

Speaking on LBC this morning, the Home Secretary slammed the eco-extremists, calling them selfish and disruptive.

“These eco zealots are selfish, they are disruptive, they are causing misery to many people who can’t get to work, who can’t get to hospital, who can’t get to school.”

She also delivered a stern warning to police, saying: “If they’re causing a level of disruption which is serious, which meets the criminal threshold, then the police must definitely intervene and arrest.

“We have seen, incidentally, over recent years approximately 1000 arrests being made, hundreds of convictions.

“Very recently we saw one such arrest leading to a custodial sentence for one of the protesters who was hanging from the gantries of the Dartford Crossing”

Mrs Braverman said the protests seen this week are another reason why the Government is trying to pass its controversial Public Order Bill, which would give the police much more power to stop protestors.

However she warned it will “take some time” to pass the Bill.

“This is why we are passing the Public Order Bill, soon to be an act. We want to improve and increase police powers available so they can take more swift action.

“That’s why, incidentally, we tried to amend the level of serious disruption recently – that was blocked by Labour, they prefer to side with the militant protesters.

“So it’s going to take us a bit of time before we can increase and enhance police powers in taking action against the very scenario to which you’re referring.”

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The scenario in question was the video causing backlash on social media yesterday, in which a driver attempting to move slow-moving climate protesters from the road was warned he could be arrested by the police, who were seemingly taking no action against the protesters themselves.

In another video, a driver filmed grabbing a Just Stop Oil sign from protesters blocking the road, and shouting “f*** off, every single one of you”, was warned that attempting to move protestors was “assault”.

The policeman told the man: “If you start pushing them, that’s assault, you can’t do that. if you do that, that’s a crime, so we are not going to do that anymore.”

Not a single arrest was made during the four days of protesting by Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion.

Extinction Rebellion has said it is going to “step up” its campaign of “civil disobedience”.

Co-founder of the group, Clare Farrell, said: “The government had a week to respond to our demands and they have failed to do so”.

“Next we will reach out to supporter organisations to start creating a plan for stepping up our campaigns across an ecosystem of tactics that includes everyone from first-time protesters to those willing to go to prison.”

The group claims that more than 60,000 people demonstrated over the last four days.

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