Tory MP calls for Just Stop Oil to be proscribed a ‘terrorist organisation’

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Conservative former minister Gareth Johnson called on Rishi Sunak to make Just Stop Oil a “banned organisation”, meaning they would be classified as terrorists.

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The MP for Dartford requested at Prime Minister’s Questions the group’s claim, campaigning against fossil fuels, was more dangerous than just a protest group.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary can prosecute an organization if he believes it is related to terrorism.

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Johnson’s constituency also includes Dartford Crossing which was closed due to a protest.

This month frustrated motorists clashed with protesters blocking roads across London and dozens of protesters were arrested for refusing to move.

The MP said in the Commons: “Last month Just Stop Oil caused chaos for several days by storming Dartford Crossing. They then attacked artefacts, the M25 and anything else that caused misery and destruction.

“These people are not protesters, they are criminals. Will the Prime Minister consider making Just Stop Oil a proscribed organization so that they are actually treated as criminal organizations?

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak responded: “The kinds of demonstrations we have seen recently disrupting people’s daily lives, they cause mass suffering for the public and they put people at risk.

“The police have our full support in their efforts to reduce this disruption and tackle reckless and illegal activity. “The Public Order Bill will give them the rights they need.”

Two Just Stop Oil protesters who blocked the Dartford crossing by climbing onto the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge were finally removed by police and arrested last month, but only after causing mayhem on the M2 for two days.

The protests were part of more than two weeks of crackdowns in which protesters glue-glued main roads in and around London, vandalized government buildings and even caused criminal damage to Van Gogh’s artwork.

Two Just Stop Oil protesters were found guilty of causing criminal damage after affixing themselves to the frame of a Vincent van Gogh painting on Tuesday.

Louis McKechnie, 22, and Emily Brocklebank, 23, caused around £2,000 worth of damage to the frame of Peach Trees in Blossom at the Courtauld Gallery in London.

McKechnie was jailed for three weeks while Brocklebank received a suspended sentence at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.


Source: www.standard.co.uk

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