‘About bloody time!’: Drivers rejoice as giant cherry picker arrives on Dartford Bridge to pluck Just Stop Oil pair from 449ft girders meaning crossing can FINALLY reopen after 36 hours… as defiant activist sings resistance song from his hammock

  • Dartford Crossing has been closed for a day after two protesters climbed the QEII bridge at 3.50am yesterday
  • A cherry picker has now arrived to allow specialists to persuade the eco-zealots down from the bridge 
  • Police also probing a video appearing to show fireworks being fired at the Just Stop Oil eco-zealots last night 
  • The road remained closed during rush hour this morning as the pair caused further delays and congestion
  • A separate protest by the group this morning has blocked traffic outside Barons Court station in London 
  • Do you know the Londoner who confronted protesters today? Contact [email protected]

Drivers are rejoicing as a cherry picker has arrived to pluck two Just Stop Oil protesters suspended from the Dartford Bridge – as the crossing is set to finally reopen after 36 hours. 

Essex Police has confirmed a specialised raised platform has arrived on the bridge to allow experts to begin working at height to persuade the two eco-zealots to come down.

The two protesters, one of whom sang a resistance song, will be arrested when they are eventually pulled down from the lofty height.

A spokesperson for Essex Police said: ‘A special raised platform is being brought in as we consider all options to resolve the situation at the Dartford Crossing and bring it to a safe conclusion.

‘We are continuing to work with our partners to remove two people who remain at height on the QEII bridge.

‘When that safe conclusion is reached, the two people will be arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance.

‘A raised platform is arriving imminently on the QEII bridge. That platform will allow specialists to work at height and continue meaningful engagement with the two people.’

It comes as police are probing a video which appears to show fireworks being fired at a pair of Just Stop Oil protesters on Dartford Bridge after they forced police to close it to traffic for more than a day.

The footage, which was purportedly taken last night or in the early hours of this morning, shows a person on the south bank of the Thames shooting explosives in the direction of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.

The fireworks can be seen exploding close to the structure, but do not appear to reach the northern end where the two eco-zealots spent last night sleeping in hammocks hanging more than 100ft above the road.

Police have confirmed they are probing the video to determine its authenticity and to see if any crimes have been committed. 

The video, which is circulating on social media, was released the same day one of the protesters revealed they plan to stay in place, potentially causing even more traffic chaos.

Yesterday Just Stop Oil had said the pair wanted to stay for ‘at least 24 hours’, but today Morgan Trowland, who is on the bridge, said he planned to stay ‘until the Government makes a meaningful statement to cancel all new licences and consents for new oil and gas exploration’.

That will infuriate motorists who have already faced one-and-a-half days of delays as a result of the protest, which has forced police to close one of the busiest roads in the country linking the M25 in Kent and Essex.

Police say they are trying their best to get the pair down and reopen the road as quickly as possible, but the height at which they are placed on the bridge is causing difficulties.

MailOnline understands that while police have been in contact with the pair, if they refuse to stop their protest then fire and rescue crews could be drafted in to bring them down. But no firm plans have been put in motion.

Do you know the Londoner who confronted protesters?

Do you know the Londoner who confronted the Just Stop Oil protesters outside Barons Court station today? 

Contact [email protected]

Elsewhere, supporters of the protest group disrupted traffic in London by staging a sit-down protest on the A4 near Barons Court station in west London this morning.

There were dramatic scenes as one Londoner angrily confronted the eco-mob in the middle of the road and demanded the ‘lazy b*****ds get a job’.

Furious motorists called on police to arrest a group of more than 20 eco-zealots after they walked into the road near Hammersmith flyover at 7.30am and sat down with banners before gluing themselves to the tarmac and using lock-ons to avoid being forcibly removed.

Video shows angry motorists confronting the group, while Metropolitan Police officers attempt to remove the eco-zealots from the carriageway.

The Met later confirmed it had arrested 26 people and reopened the road, with the protesters taken into custody at a south London police station

It is the 18th consecutive day of disruption by the eco-mob, which is calling for the Government to stop granting new licences and consents for oil and gas exploration.

Video circulating on social media appears to show fireworks being fired towards two Just Stop Oil activists who have climbed up the Dartford Bridge

Just Stop Oil activists Morgan Trowland and Marcus have been suspended from the bridge (pictured) since Monday morning in a climate protest

Morgan Trowland, one of the Just Stop Oil protesters on the Dartford Bridge, spent last night sleeping in a hammock above the closed while thousands of motorists were delayed and forced to take diversions

The video, which appears to have been taken last night, shows the projectiles being fired in the direction of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge

Essex Police says it and Kent Police are investigating to determine the authenticity of the video, which has been circulating on social media

The Just Stop Oil activists spent last night sleeping in hammocks suspended more than 100ft above the road and 500ft above the River Thames

The closure of the Queen Elizabeth II has caused huge delays on both sides of the M25 as traffic is diverted through the Dartford Tunnel. Pictured is heavy traffic on the A282 northbound in Kent

The bridge is expected to remain closed to all traffic until the pair of protesters have been coaxed down from the girders after climbing up on Monday 

Downing Street vows to tackle ‘guerrilla tactics’ 

By PA 

Downing Street said new offences and tougher police powers would help tackle the ‘guerrilla tactics’ employed by Just Stop Oil.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman would not be drawn on the police response to the Dartford Crossing protests.

‘I wouldn’t get into comment on individual operational policing decisions,’ he said. but

He added: ‘I think we have seen in the past, too often, these protesters able to disrupt lives, cause mass misery and stop emergency services going about their work.’

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act and the Public Order Bill going through the Commons on Tuesday would beef up the powers available to officers.

‘We are we are ensuring the police have even more powers so they can stop these sorts of guerrilla tactics,’ the spokesman said.

The A282 over the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge has been shut by police while they try and coax the pair down, creating huge delays for the second day in a row.

Furious drivers already face delays of around one hour at 6am today and there are queues of more than six miles in both directions as Just Stop Oil activists Mr Trowland, 39, and Marcus, 33, remain in the air.

In a statement Kent Police said: ‘Kent Police is aware of a video circulating online which appears to show fireworks being set off in Greenhithe near to the QEII bridge, Dartford.

‘Officers are making enquiries to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the video and to identify any offences which may have been committed.’

The height at which the protesters are currently located has complicated efforts to try and remove the activists, with police saying it will take them time to get them down.

Essex Police said late last night the bridge will stay closed through this morning’s rush hour, with Sean Martell from the National Highways citing ‘safety’ as the primary concern.

Furious drivers have blasted the police’s response, saying they were ‘playing into the hands’ of eco-activists by shutting the bridge.

A spokesman for Just Stop Oil said: ‘Ordinary people are right to be upset, frustrated, irritated, angry – their lives have been disrupted. 

‘Politics is failing us, it has failed on the cost of living crisis with families cold and hungry and it’s failing on the climate crisis, with transport and crops being hit in this country.

‘Our Government can reopen the M25, reopen Dartford Bridge and end this disruption immediately by making a statement to end new oil and gas.’

Police carry a protester off the road during the demonstration on the A4 outside Barons Court station in west London this morning

Members of Just Stop Oil have staged a sit-down protest on the A4 outside Barons Court Underground Station today in what is the 18th consecutive day of protest

The eco-mob have glued themselves to the tarmac and used lock-ons in a bid to avoid being forcibly removed from the normally busy road

Officers from the Metropolitan Police are at the scene of the protest in the A4, where the demonstrators blocked the road

Angry motorists confronted the protesters after they blocked the road, preventing many from getting into work on time this morning

Video from the scene shows police officers trying to calm members of the public while colleagues remove members of the climate protest group

Just Stop Oil has blocked roads in London and Kent and Essex with two separate protests. Its supporters blocked the A4 at Barons Court this morning, while a demonstration has kept the Dartford Bridge closed for a second day running

Dartford Bridge protester says he’s ‘pretty cold’ but vows not to come down until Government action

One of the protesters who has scaled the Dartford Bridge says he won’t come down until the Government takes action on climate change.

Morgan Trowland, a 39-year-old civil engineer, is one of two people who climbed up the bridge yesterday morning, forcing police to close it to traffic.

In a video from the top of the structure this morning, he said he was ‘pretty cold’ and hasn’t slept much.

‘We are up here until the Government makes a meaningful statement to cancel all new licences and consents for new oil and gas exploration,’ he said. 

‘Oil and gas is killing us now and it’s driving millions into poverty this winter. 

‘We have to have an emergency transition to renewable energy, quite a stable and affordable energy, and we’ve got to pay for that transition using the profits of the oil and gas industry and the rich. 

‘So now is the moment for civil resistance, come and do what you can at this pivotal moment in history.’

He added: ‘We will cancel this disruption when the Government cancels all new oil and gas extraction licences.’

The protest on the A4 this morning started at 7.30am when activists walked on to the road during rush hour. Among the eco-zealots involved in the demonstration are students, delivery drivers and mothers. 

There were cries of ‘lock them up’ from furious motorists as police arrived at the scene, with drivers angrily telling the protesters to ‘go and get a job’.

One angry passerby said: ‘What kind of job allows you to just sit there all f***ing day? Because I want to apply you lazy b******s, go and get a job!’ 

The Metropolitan Police has said it is ‘in the process of removing and arresting’ those protesters sat in the road. Footage shows dozens of officers swarming around the activists as they attempt to remove them from the carriageway.

It later confirmed: ‘Met officers have arrested 26 people for wilful obstruction of the highway, at Talgarth Road, Hammersmith. The road is now open in both directions.’

While many people have made alternative plans, those who have to cross the river at the Dartford Crossing this morning for work are still facing long delays.

At 7am there was already five miles of slow-moving congestion in Kent heading towards the bridge and more than six miles in the opposite direction in Essex.

Motorists have hit out at the protesters, saying they are actually forcing drivers to use more petrol and oil. Those looking to avoid the chaos at Dartford face a 30-mile round trip to the Blackwall Tunnel in London, which is the only other road crossing the Thames east of central London.

Some have called for the pair to be ‘shot down’ from the top of the structure they have made their home, while others have said police should reopen the road even if they are still up there.

As protesters climbed the 275ft masts on the structure yesterday, activist Mr Trowland was overcome with emotion as he said he had scaled the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge because he ‘was not willing to sit back and watch everything I love burn for the rest of my life’. 

In a video posted this morning, Mr Trowland said he was ‘pretty cold and didn’t sleep much’ after spending the night in a hammock alongside his fellow protester Marcus, a teacher from London.

Angry motorists have demanded action is taken to allow the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge between Kent and Essex is reopened

Just Stop Oil had said the intention was for the men to stay up there for ‘at least 24 hours’, but last night gave no indication as to when they might come down. 

A spokesman for Just Stop Oil told PA: ‘My understanding is that they are going to stay up there until they’re brought down, that’s my understanding at the moment.

‘I don’t know how they’re going to be brought down, and I’m not sure the police do either at the moment.’

BJ Harrington, Chief Constable of Essex Police, called the pair ‘crazy’ and said the force is doing everything it can to ‘get that road open as soon as possible’. 

Yesterday Essex Police said: ‘We expect the bridge to remain closed this evening and into tomorrow morning’s rush hour. We would advise motorists to avoid the area and plan an alternative route if they possibly can.’

Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said: ‘We understand how frustrating this situation is for people wanting to use the bridge and go about their business. Let me assure you we are doing all we can to resolve this situation quickly and safely.

‘It is a complex situation due to the height the people on the bridge are at.

‘Our colleagues at National Highways, who have responsibility for the bridge, have made an assessment that it is not currently safe to re-open the road.’

There are already long delays on the M25 and A282 between Kent and Essex this morning at the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge remains closed

There is a diversion in place through the Dartford Tunnel, although this has meant traffic coming in the other direction has also been delayed as the amount of traffic each direction can take has halved

There are already queues stretching for miles in either direction of the Dartford Bridge this morning as the protest enters its second day

In a video from the top of the bridge Morgan Trowland (pictured) said he was ‘not willing to sit back and watch everything I love burn for the rest of my life’. The protesters from Just Stop Oil have vowed not to come down until the Government stops issuing new gas and oil licences

There has been a second day of traffic chaos in Kent and Essex with long delays on the M25 and A282 after the Dartford bridge was closed by the protest

He added: ‘We will take action against anyone who puts life in danger or thinks they can selfishly stop others getting to and from work or just going about their daily lives. The impact is far reaching, especially for the local community.

‘I would again like to re-iterate my thanks to the public for their patience and understanding. I assure them that we continue to work with our partners to bring this dangerous and irresponsible disruption to an end.

‘Our priority is to keep people safe and keep Essex moving.’

Furious drivers demanded police reopen the road even if the pair are still up there, declaring that the protesters ‘knew the risks’ and are stopping people getting to work and hospital appointments. 

The group yesterday also targeted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in Westminster by throwing soup at the building’s entrance and demanding a meeting with the Home Secretary.

The environmentalist group has launched demonstrations in London over the last few weeks. 

Protesters sprayed orange paint over an Aston Martin garage in the capital and blocked roads on Sunday as they continue to demand an end to new oil and gas projects.

Two Just Stop Oil supporters have climbed to the top of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge forcing police to close the bridge to demand that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents,’ the group said yesterday.

‘At approximately 5am two climbers ascended the two 84m masts on the north side of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge forcing the police to stop traffic from entering the bridge. It is expected that the bridge will remain shut for at least 24 hours.’

National Highways reported two-hour long queues yesterday, with some motorists saying they had been stuck for as long as three. 

Mr Trowland said: ‘As a professional civil engineer, each year as I renew my registration, I commit to acting within our code of ethics, which requires me to safeguard human life and welfare and the environment.

‘Our government has enacted suicidal laws to accelerate oil production: killing human life and destroying our environment.

‘I can’t challenge this madness in my desk job, designing bridges, so I’m taking direct action, occupying the QE2 bridge until the government stops all new oil.’ 

Marcus added he felt the current political system in the UK was ‘betraying the people of this country’.

He said: ‘Too many people in this country simply don’t know the scale and intensity of climate breakdown as the scientists describe it.

‘The authorities are criminally failing to get this grim science communicated. During Covid the science was conveyed on a daily basis.

‘Why isn’t the most existential threat that humanity has ever faced on the news every day?

‘Our political system is betraying the people of this country. More fossil fuel licenses means global genocide. Only direct action will now help to reach the social tipping point we so urgently need.’

Essex Police said colleagues at National Highways escorted traffic through the Dartford Tunnel in a bid to alleviate the impact of the road closure.

The road has been closed for more than 24 hours after the pair of Just Stop Oil activists scaled the girders. Since then they have remained in the air and have set up a banner between two of the masts

The protesters unfurled a banner with the words ‘Just Stop Oil’ between two of the masts on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge

The crossing contains two tunnels and the bridge, with the tunnels taking traffic north from Kent to Essex and the bridge taking vehicles in the other direction. 

Angry motorists accused the protesters of turning the M25 into a ‘car park’ as commuters struggled to get to work yesterday morning.

Others accused the demonstrators of potentially costing lives by stopping ‘hundreds of NHS staff’ from getting to work and preventing people from getting to hospital and doctors appointments.

One video posted on social media shows an ambulance with blue lights flashing stuck in the traffic at Chafford Hundred in Essex on Monday morning. 

Chief Constable Harrington said he thought the pair were ‘crazy’ and was firmly on the side of motorists.

In an interview with BBC Essex yesterday, he said: ‘We want them to come down, but we’ve got to do that safely. Safely for the public, safely for the people who use the bridge and safely for those who operate the bridge. It’s a really dangerous and difficult environment.

‘I think they are crazy. I’m really frustrated and you’ve got every guarantee from me that the officers there at the moment, working with the Dartford Crossing and National Highways, will get that road open as soon as possible.’

He added: ‘We are advising and guiding the road operator. We are there, lets be honest, to arrest them when they come down. I think it’s criminal.

‘My officers are down there and it’s taking them away from other things and it’s stopping Essex and Kent from working and it’s just not acceptable.’

Those stuck in the queue at Dartford Bridge hit out at the eco-zealots, as frustrated motorists honked their horns, revved their engines and shouted out ‘come on’ as the sea of cars slowly edged toward the crossing.

Oliver Tite, a 25-year-old from Dartford who works as a lift engineer, was trying to get to Essex for a job interview.

‘It’s ridiculous and it’s a pain for everyone,’ he said.

‘I’m late for a job interview, I probably won’t make it, but I’ll just have to wait and see. If I don’t make it on time, I’ll have to get it moved, if they let me move it.

‘But it’s completely out of my hands and so frustrating. I don’t know why they don’t keep the bridge going. It’s the protesters’ choice to be up there, so why don’t we make them deal with the consequences?’

Mother-of-two Jo Reading, a 42-year-old personal assistant from Dartford, said: ‘It’s not great, it’s not great at all.

‘It’s frustrating and I hope it doesn’t take too long to get through. It’s got to the point where you almost expect this kind of thing, which isn’t good either.’

Just Stop Oil said on its website yesterday: ‘Today’s actions follow over two weeks of continuous disruption by supporters of Just Stop Oil in which they have experienced over 450 arrests.

‘On Sunday, there were 14 arrests of Just Stop Oil supporters, who blocked Park Lane and sprayed an Aston Martin dealership with orange paint. Since the campaign began on April 1st, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested over 1,700 times, with five currently in prison.

‘This is not a one-day event, expect us every day and anywhere. This is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project. 

‘Our supporters will be returning – today, tomorrow and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met: no new oil and gas in the UK.’

According to Rich Felgate, a documentary maker who has been filming the group’s recent protests, two of its supporters climbed up this morning ‘shutting down the entire bridge and blocking oil tankers from oil terminals in Essex traveling south’. 

On Park Lane on Sunday, one furious black cab driver hauled the eco-zealots from the road. 

One motorist bellowed at them: ‘People have got f****** work to go to.’ Another added: ‘People are trying to go to hospital.’

One motorist bellowed at protesters on Park Lane: ‘People have got f****** work to go to’ while another added ‘people are trying to go to hospital’

Members of the public were not amused by the protest group’s activities and removed them from the road themselves

Just Stop Oil sprayed orange paint over the Aston Martin car showroom in an apparent spontaneous act of vandalism

The spray painter somehow found themselves on the floor and appeared to have been arrested by the Metropolitan Police

Among the protesters were a pregnant mother and a musician who all vowed to continue with their deeply divisive campaign.

Chloe Thomas, 19, from Cannock said: ‘I’m 15 weeks pregnant this week. Today, we’re out here on the road together, demanding no new oil. 

‘How do I explain to my daughter in the years to come where the animals went, where the culture went, where the beauty went, why there are no bees and why I can’t put food in her tummy?

‘You know it’s bad, don’t you? As citizens, as humans, as parents and children we have a responsibility and a right under British law to protect ourselves and those we love.’

David Kearns, 45, a musician from Birmingham, added: ‘I cannot stand by and allow this government to continue destroying everything we love for the sake of nothing but profit.

‘The climate crisis is a product of greed, just as the cost of living crisis is a product of greed and I will not comply with a system that puts profits before the people and the planet. ‘

It came just hours after Home Secretary Suella Braverman slammed the activists as ‘thugs’ and told the Metropolitan Police to ‘do a better job’.

Revealed: Tearful eco-zealot civil engineer, 39, behind Dartford crossing chaos is serial law breaker from New Zealand who bragged about designing XR bamboo structures and glued himself to Tower Bridge 

A tearful eco-zealot civil engineer who has caused traffic chaos at the Dartford Crossing is a serial law breaker from New Zealand, MailOnline can reveal.

Morgan Trowland, who has bragged about designing bamboo structures for Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests and once glued himself to Tower Bridge, launched himself back into the headlines today.

The 39-year-old, along with another Just Stop Oil activist, scaled the girders at the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge between Essex and Kent at around 3.50am on Monday, forcing police to close one of the busiest roads in the country.

It is part of the pressure group’s so-called ‘month of protest’ against new oil and gas exploration, with Just Stop Oil warning it intends to keep the road closed for at least 24 hours.

In a video from the top of the bridge this morning, Trowland appeared to have difficulty holding back the tears as the climate protester claimed he was ‘not willing to sit back and watch everything I love burn for the rest of my life’.

It is far from the first time Trowland, who hails from New Zealand but lives in Hackney, east London, has decided to take part in highly disruptive protests.

The 39-year-old, who hails from New Zealand, is a veteran of climate change protests

The civil engineer has bragged about building bamboo structures to be used at protests by groups such as Extinction Rebellion

In the past he has taken part in demonstrations by various anarchist groups, including XR, and has ended up in court multiple times, MailOnline can reveal.

And despite being found guilty of breaking the law twice, he has been allowed to continue his activities after walking free from the courts.

In May last year Trowland was among nine XR protester to glue themselves to Tower Bridge, closing the inner-city traffic artery.

Trowland was also one of the ringleaders of the September 2020 blockade of the Hertfordshire newspaper print works.

He bragged that he had designed the two giant bamboo structures that were erected outside the factory to stop production, while he describes himself as being ‘obsessed with bamboo tensegrity [tensile integrity] and how it WILL change the world’ on his Twitter profile.

The XR action stopped three and a half million newspapers – including the Daily Mail, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and the Evening Standard – from being distributed across the country.

Trowland was later ordered to pay £334 pounds in fines and costs at St Albans Magistrates’ Court.

In April 2019 he also was one of a number ‘Tree of Life’ protesters who were arrested for public disorder in the City of London.

Trowland has appeared in court multiple times over his climate change protesting activities. Here he is pictured outside St Albans Magistrates’ Court in May 2021

He was found guilty of the offence at the City of London Magistrates’ Court but given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £500 costs.  

A Facebook post last year indicated Trowland had no intention of giving up his fight for climate action.

He wrote: ‘Your children are facing annihilation within a decade or two, who knows exactly when? People in other parts of the world are facing it now.

‘Inexorably, extreme weather and ecological collapse will alternately scorch, flood and plague our crops leading to food shortages, leading to mob violence, murder and rape as your desperate neighbours turn ugly.

‘We are outta time for incremental changes and we need to organise an emergency response an order of magnitude greater than for COVID. for that we need to take over the state as it’s the only institution through which this could happen. the mechanism proposed for that is a citizens assembly to set legally binding strategy.

‘That may sound impossible but it’s equally impossible to sit back and watch the annihilation lap at our door steps.’

Earlier today he and another Just Stop Oil activist climbed up the Dartford Bridge to protest gas and oil exploration. 

In a selfie video taken on top of the structure, Trowland said: ‘I’m not willing to sit back and watch everything I love burn for the rest of my life’.

The emotional protester railed against ‘the current fraudulent, charlatan excuse for a Government’, saying it was ‘accelerating that process granting more licences for oil and gas’.

‘It’s an absolute act of treason, it’s selling ourselves and our children into an uninhabitable earth and I believe it’s my duty to do anything in my power to stop it,’ he added.

Source: Read Full Article