POLICE have arrested more than 250 people in Essex amid ongoing Just Stop Oil fuel protests across several locations in Thurrock.
Officers arrested more than 70 people yesterday alone (April 6) following the arrival of more protesters in the early hours of the morning.
Two people were also arrested shortly after 5.30pm yesterday in Grays.
They have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and causing danger to other road users under the Road Traffic Act.
The arrests took place after the pair voluntarily emerged from a tunnel where they had remained in situ for several days.
Police say regular welfare checks were carried out on them, both in terms of their health and the safety of them and those on scene.
A group of seven people were also arrested shortly after 4.45pm following a short protest.
All seven were arrested on suspicion of committing a public nuisance and obstructing a highway.
Essex Police Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan said: “Despite having a period yesterday when all sites were cleared, the protesters have returned in the early hours today, causing disruption to the business community.
“We continue to engage with a small number of people who continue to cause disruption and who remain on site.
“We want to bring this situation to a safe conclusion for everyone concerned, allowing the Thurrock communities to resume their business activities.
“We want to resume normality as quickly as we can.”
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service continues to provide support at the site occupied by protesters.
James Palmer, Head of Prevention and Protection at the service, said: “Our crews have been on-hand to maintain a safe environment and assist in the safe removal of protestors.”
Protester Hannah, 23, from Brighton, has spoken out from Navigator Terminal.
She said: “I’m so scared. It’s obscene. I’m 23 and the only way people will listen to me is if I lock onto the pipework of a fuelling station.
“Boris Johnson is signing a death sentence for my future by subsidising £25m a day of taxpayers money into new oil and gas.
“They can take away my liberty, they can take away my freedom and they can choose to ignore the alarm we are sounding on the climate crisis.
“But they can’t take away my courage to put my body on the line for every young person that is suffering from extreme heat in the global south or freezing to death in fuel poverty in the UK and having to choose between heating and eating.
“We are not going to die quietly. Please don’t be a bystander. Say no to new oil.”