Eco dummies block two ambulances in bridge sit-in protest
JUST Stop Oil fanatics blocked two ambulances, including one carrying a patient needing hospital treatment, on their latest reckless march in central London yesterday.
A London Ambulance Service vehicle was stuck for seven minutes trying to cross Waterloo Bridge before its driver gave up and took the patient – who luckily was not in a life-threatening condition – to another hospital.
Only minutes earlier, an ambulance belonging to nearby Guy’s and St Thomas’ and on its blue lights was forced to proceed at a snail’s pace for some ten minutes over the River Thames.
The Met Police said its officers had been ‘continually telling the activists to move out the road so it can pass while making arrests’, only for the activists to lie in the road like dummies after being detained, forcing them to halt all traffic until they were removed.
One furious passer-by shouted at the activists to ‘protest in the right place’, as the ambulance’s sirens blared, and an irritated cyclist ripped through the group’s banner.
Scotland Yard arrested around 40 activists in the first half of the protest.
One of the ambulance drivers told The Daily Telegraph: ‘I am responding to a life-and-death emergency. I am going to pick up a team from Guy’s hospital to save someone’s life at another hospital but can’t get through.’
But Just Stop Oil ( JSO) bizarrely denied they were to blame for the ambulances being blocked, despite the jam developing as a direct result of their actions.
They made the outlandish claim that police had blocked the Guys’ vehicle ‘so they can blame it on a protest march going in the other direction’ and create bad publicity for them. They also moaned that protesters were ‘dragged and forced to the ground as they were handcuffed’.
Critics hit out at the ‘eco idiots’. Maria Caulfield, Tory MP for Lewes, wrote online: ‘This is just unacceptable from Just Stop Oil. Putting lives at risk and taking up the time of emergency services by blocking Waterloo Bridge so that an ambulance can’t get through’.
Broadcaster Sophie Corcoran added: ‘ Every single one of those activists needs to be held responsible if something happens to the poor person needing medical attention.’
Asked if JSO had demonstrations planned for Remembrance Day this weekend, a spokesman said they were ‘not able to tell you whether we have anything planned and if we do, what that might be’.
Another 42 JSO supporters have been charged with obstruction of the highway after two slow marches on Whitehall on Monday.
Since October 30, 219 JSO activists have been arrested and 98 have been charged.
Scotland Yard said: ‘Ultimately it is Londoners who are bearing the brunt and cost of Just Stop Oil’s disruption.’
Responding to the group’s claims that they were responsible for the traffic, a spokesman said: ‘We lifted the closure at the first opportunity when there were no activists in the road.’
A London Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘An ambulance with a patient on board was delayed on Waterloo Bridge . . . Fortunately, the ambulance crew was able to divert to a different hospital.
‘However, delays can cost lives. We would ask any protesters to allow our crews to pass to ensure we are able to get timely treatment for our patients.’
Guy’s and St Thomas’ declined to comment.
‘Putting lives at risk is unacceptable’