A bicycle mechanic joined a grandmother-of-four and a student on bail for throwing paint at a Van Gogh to cripple the M25 on behalf of Just Stop Oil today.
Tez Burns, 34, Diane Hekt, 68, Phoebe Plummer, 21, and Tom Gardener, who is believed to be in his 20s, all clambered up gantries to paralyse the road network.
Police forces in and around London had declared they were ready to tackle the protesters, but they still managed to evade them to climb the huge road structures unhindered.
Ms Plummer, who is a student in the capital, is currently on bail for tossing Heinz tomato soup over a Van Gogh’s £76million Sunflowers painting at the National Gallery.
The protester – who calls herself Ziggy Stardyke on Twitter – has been involved in several major Just Stop Oil Demonstrations, including gluing herself to the road to stop traffic.
She declared today: ‘As a young person the only future I see before me is one of mass famine, severe droughts, wildfires, floods and societal collapse.
Phoebe Plummer, who is a student in the capital, is currently on bail for tossing Heinz tomato soup over a Van Gogh’s £76million Sunflowers painting at the National Gallery.
Just Stop Oil supporter Tom Gardener climbed onto a motorway gantry on the M25 for the fourth day in a row as part of their campaign to demand that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents
The grandmother: Diane Hekt, 68, who has four grandchildren, climbed onto one of the gantries over the M25 this morning
This is the moment a passerby intervened when Just Stop Oil regular Tez Burns sprayed orange paint on the MI5 building in Westminster
‘I understand people must be frustrated with us, and rightly so, but we have to disrupt daily life because we are hurtling towards climate catastrophe, yet the government continues to betray me, my generation and people in the global South by issuing new oil licenses.’
Elsewhere on the London circular pensioner and grandmother-of-four Diane Hekt, 68, also managed to get past police forces to get onto a gantry.
She has taken part in the Insulate Britain blockades and on September 20 this year was found to have broken an injunction banning protests at Kingsbury Oil Terminal.
Ms Hekt, who the court heard lived only off a state pension, was given a 25-day prison sentence but it was suspended.
She said today from a gantry between junctions 8 and 9: ‘I have attached the banner one on each side. I am the police to arrive soon.
‘I’m here because I feel the need to, why else would I need to. I was really worried about distracting drivers. But what else can we do to sound the alarm?’
Phoebe Plummer went viral when Heinz tomato soup went on Vincent Van Gogh’s £76 million masterpiece last month
An activist puts up a banner reading ‘Just Stop Oil’ atop an electronic traffic sign along M25 this morning, unstopped by police
Further on down the road was Tez, who uses the pronouns they and them, and is from Swansea.
Tez was last month tackled to the ground by a member of the public while spraying orange paint from a fire extinguisher onto the MI5 building in Millbank in Westminster.
The protester said today: ‘We need an emergency response to the climate crisis and the cost of living crisis right now – insulate our homes, nationalise and subsidise public transport, invest in renewable energy.
Stop paying us lip service and do something meaningful: stop issuing new fossil fuel licenses now.’
And as was the case yesterday, activists from Animal Rebellion joined in with solidarity with Just Stop Oil.
Tom Gardener, a systems engineer from Nottingham was pictured on top of a gantry after swerving law enforcement.
Police officers attempt to stop an activist as they put up a banner reading ‘Just Stop Oil’ atop an electronic traffic sign along M25 on Thursday
Just Stop Oil supporter have have climbed onto motorway gantries around the M25 for the fourth day in a row as part of their campaign to demand that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents
Eco-zealots have begun another series of protests causing chaos on the M25 motorway – in disruptive gantry stunts that must be starting to feel like Groundhog Day for police unable to stop them. (Pictured: The junctions targeted so far this week)
He said: ‘We continue to see absolute neglect and lack of leadership from those who hold power in this country.
‘Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman, and the rest of the Government, people across this country are calling on you to do what is right and halt all new oil and gas licenses and invest in renewables and a plant-based future.’
The campaigners – who want to ban new gas and oil extraction licences – have repeatedly targeted dangerous spots on the circular stretch since Monday, with hair-raising images today showing one protester unfurling a sign atop a gantry while traffic zooms past below.
The action began on Thursday when Met Police announced they were dealing with a person on a gantry near junction 25 at Waltham Cross, close to the border with Hertfordshire. The force said a person has since been arrested and the road was due to re-open shortly.
Meanwhile Surrey Police said officers were dealing with activists who climbed gantries between Junctions 7 and 8. Two were arrested and the stretch has reopened.
National Highways said there were ‘multiple police-led incidents’ on the M25 this morning, but they have all now ended, while one lane between junctions 28 and 29 for the A127 had also reopened after being closed.
Junction 16 (M40) and junction 15 (M4) of the M25 were also blocked anticlockwise but are now fully operational.
Elsewhere, Kent Police arrested five suspected protesters after pulling them over near the M25 in Westerham, while Essex Police said it cuffed a woman who was trying to scale a gantry around 1.5 miles from Junction 28 clockwise.