Several oil firms secure civil injunctions aimed at stopping climate protests

·3-min read
Activists from Just Stop Oil during one of their blockades (Matthew Cooper/PA) (PA Wire)
Activists from Just Stop Oil during one of their blockades (Matthew Cooper/PA) (PA Wire)

Several oil firms have secured civil injunctions aimed at stopping environmental protesters from targeting their fuel processing sites.

A number of key operators including Navigator Thames, ExxonMobil and Valero gained their injunctions in the last few days, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said on Friday.

It comes as dozens of climate activists were charged after arrests were made at protests at oil depots.

Demonstrators outside the Department for Business (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Demonstrators outside the Department for Business (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

The Just Stop Oil activists say they arrived in the early hours of Friday at the Kingsbury terminal near Tamworth, Staffordshire, as well as the Navigator Oil terminal in Thurrock and Grays oil terminal, both in Essex.

The recently imposed injunctions aim to prevent protest activity at oil sites across the UK.

Energy Minister Greg Hands said: “While we value the right to peaceful protest, it is crucial that these do not cause disruption to people’s everyday lives.

“That’s why I’m pleased to see oil companies taking action to secure injunctions at their sites, working with local police forces to arrest those who break the law and ensure deliveries of fuel can continue as normal.”

Police officers at the Navigator Oil Terminal in Grays (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)
Police officers at the Navigator Oil Terminal in Grays (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Valero Energy had obtained a High Court injunction against a number of environmental groups and “persons unknown” earlier this week following recent protests at the Kingsbury terminal.

It bans anyone from damaging any part of the land at each of the firm’s sites, from “affixing themselves to any other person or object” on the land or parts of access roads, and from building any structure.

Valero also owns and operates sites in Manchester, Cardiff, Plymouth and Avonmouth.

On Friday morning, pictures of climate activists, affiliated with Extinction Rebellion, showed people in orange hi-vis jackets on top of oil tankers and blockading roads, while holding signs.

Essex Police says a further 12 people aged 19 to 64 have been charged following the protests, bringing the total to 23.

They are charged with either interfering with a motor vehicle and wilful obstruction of a highway or aggravated trespass.

The force said 28 people were arrested on Friday, bringing the total number of arrests made since April 1 to 454.

Warwickshire Police said 12 arrests had been made.

Our dedicated officers will continue to work across the weekend to keep Essex moving, keep people safe and minimise disruption to the public

Essex Police

Activists from Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion have been blocking access to oil terminals, demanding that the Government stops new oil and gas projects.

A dozen activists are said to be at the scene in Tamworth and have locked themselves on to pipes, while roadblocks and “tanker-surfing” has taken place at the sites in Essex.

Officers remain in Thurrock where a small number of people continue to protest.

Essex Police Assistant Chief Constable Glen Pavelin said: “It is anticipated the road network will be busy today and in the coming days, as people travel and spend time with family and friends during the Bank Holiday weekend.

“Our dedicated officers will continue to work across the weekend to keep Essex moving, keep people safe and minimise disruption to the public.

“We also continue to work closely with our colleagues at the Crown Prosecution Service to secure charges where possible.

“As demonstrated this week, if you come to Essex and engage in disruptive and dangerous protest, we will arrest you.”

Warwickshire Police said: “Officers remain at Kingsbury Oil Terminal today and are currently dealing with protest activity after a number of protesters arrived overnight.

“There is minimal impact to the wider community at this time.”

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