14 October 2022

24 protesters arrested after New Scotland Yard sign covered with yellow paint

14 October 2022

More than 20 protesters have been arrested after a sign for New Scotland Yard was covered with yellow paint.

Demonstrators also blocked the road in front of the Metropolitan Police’s headquarters during Just Stop Oil’s action on Friday.

Officers cleared the demonstrators from Victoria Embankment, outside New Scotland Yard, and have now reopened it to traffic.

The force said it arrested 24 protesters on suspicion of wilful obstruction of the highway and conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

At least eight officers continued to surround the New Scotland Yard rotating sign, which remains covered in paint.

Four protesters also inserted their arms into pieces of what appeared to be metal piping as they sat on the road in front of New Scotland Yard in Westminster.

Police officers gave the activists protective visors before cutting the piping in half to separate them.

A Just Stop Oil supporter, looking on at the protests outside New Scotland Yard and handing out leaflets, told the PA news agency: “I just arrived to give out some leaflets because I heard that there was a road block round here.”

Gabby Ditton, 28, from Norwich, added: “We did try petitions and marches and strongly worded emails before this, but that didn’t work. And now we’re in a situation where all of life on earth could be destroyed forever in the name of short-term profit. So yeah, I absolutely support this.

“It’s peaceful, it’s non-violent, it’s stressful to watch but what other choice do we have?”

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Officers have arrested 24 protesters on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage after activists sprayed orange paint at New Scotland Yard’s revolving sign; and wilful obstruction of the highway after they sat down in the carriageway outside New Scotland Yard.

“Several individuals ‘locked on’ or glued themselves on to the road surface. Specialist officers have now removed them and they are being taken into custody at various central London police stations.”

Two Just Stop Oil supporters were also arrested after throwing two tins of Heinz Tomato soup over the Sunflowers painting by Vincent van Gogh in the National Gallery.

The art museum said on Friday afternoon: “Sunflowers is unharmed and is now back on display in Room 43.”

Friday marked the 14th day of “continuous disruption” by the environmental group, which has also seen protesters block several key roads in the capital.

The action is expected to last for more than a month.

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