ITN acts for JSO protester acquitted of criminal damage


A Just Stop Oil protester who sprayed Scotland Yard’s famous sign with orange paint has been cleared.

Lora Johnson, 38, of Southwold, Suffolk, faced a single charge of criminal damage at Southwark Crown Court over the October 2022 climate protest at the Metropolitan Police headquarters.

But on Tuesday, Ms Johnson - who admits spray-painting the New Scotland Yard sign orange - was acquitted of the charge by a jury after a trial.

In a statement released by the group, the activist said: “The action I took was painting the New Scotland Yard sign orange, in resistance to the government’s...approval of new oil and gas licences.

“I would like to ask the Met police: who are they there to serve and protect? The good people of this country? 

“Or the oil-corrupted government? I would like to ask them how they are planning to police the mass hysteria, the panic, the fear, the looting, the theft, the hoarding and the inevitable violence that will result when our shelves are empty and we can’t feed our children?”

Several other protesters involved in the October 2022 action also blocked the road in front of the Metropolitan Police's headquarters, leading to around 20 arrests.

Just Stop Oil has vowed to continue to take direct action “to generate political pressure” to stop new oil and gas licences. 

It has declared that this summer, when holidaymakers head for sunnier climes, airports will be declared sites of civil resistance.

It comes after in November, nine Extinction Rebellion activists were also cleared by a jury of causing £500,000 worth of criminal damage to the windows at the headquarters of HSBC bank in the capital.

The group glass windows at the bank’s building with hammers and chisels at about 7am on 22 April 2021 during the protest.

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