Just Stop Oil activists launched a “come and arrest us” challenge to the Metropolitan Police as they brought Camden to a standstill with their latest slow march protest.
Commuters trapped behind the group of 30 eco-warriors said they were “very angry” as they were caught up in traffic ahead of Tuesday’s school run.
The climate action group, tweeted: “30 supporters of Just Stop Oil are marching in Camden to demand this government abandon attempts to license new oil and gas. They are holding banners and signs.
“Coming to arrest us @metpoliceuk?”
🚨 HAPPENING NOW
🦺 30 supporters of Just Stop Oil are marching in Camden to demand this government abandon attempts to license new oil and gas.
🪧 They are holding banners and signs. Coming to arrest us @metpoliceuk? pic.twitter.com/Q5qlpTkZOc
— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) May 9, 2023
Police observed the protesters on their walk from Delancey Street to Chalk Farm via Camden Town but did not intervene or make arrests.
Some members of the public showed their support for the march by clapping and cheering as they passed by.
Others argued with the protesters, accusing them of holding up children on their way to school.
One mother said her son missed an appointment due to the protest.
Ayl, 53, said: “I am upset because my son has an appointment for over a month.
“Now, today, he is going to miss that appointment.
“They might not be able to see him now until next month. He needed to attend that office today.
“There are a lot of kids in that bus; they need to go to school.”
She said the protest was “unfair”.
“They could do it after the kids are in school,” she said.
“Then I can understand.”
She added: “I am very angry.”
Addressing the public, Just Stop Oil activist Sophie, 30, said the protest is “the scariest thing” she has done.
“I don’t want to be here,” she said.
“This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done but I am terrified. I’m just an ordinary person.”
She said she marched because she wants to have children.
She said: “But how can I bring a child into this world when the Government are not safeguarding our future?”
Police claimed to have the road cleared within the hour, tweeting later: “ As of 09.12hrs, following police engagement, Just Stop Oil protesters have moved out of the road at Chalk Farm. The road is now clear and traffic is flowing.”
It came after 64 people were arrested over the Coronation with just four charges brought so far. Scotland Yard said that “Other more complex [cases] require time to progress”.
The force confirmed 52 people were arrested for affray, public order offences, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance around the coronation.
Among those arrested on Saturday were members of Just Stop Oil and Labour for a Republic.
The Metropolitan Police has been heavily criticised over the detentions, with some campaign groups likening the “incredibly alarming” arrests to “something you would expect to see in Moscow, not London”.
The Met said it received information that protesters were “determined to disrupt” the Coronation – including defacing public monuments with paint, breaching barriers and disrupting official movements.
But campaigners said the protests were “peaceful”, describing the arrests as “a dangerous precedent for us as a democratic nation”.
The force confirmed reports from Just Stop Oil that 13 demonstrators were detained on the Mall.