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Man handcuffed by police after pushing protesters blocking central London bridge

A member of the public was handcuffed by police after pushing climate protesters as they blocked a bridge in central London.

About 45 Just Stop Oil (JSO) activists prevented cars passing on Blackfriars, London and Tower Bridge on Tuesday morning by walking slowly in the road.

On Blackfriars Bridge, one man was handcuffed by police after he shoved two JSO supporters in a bid to clear the road. He was detained on suspicion of common assault but not arrested, the Metropolitan Police said.

A motorcyclist also tried to drive through the group of demonstrators, and there were a number of clashes at the other protest sites, with members of the public snatching banners, according to JSO.

The group posted footage of the Blackfriars Bridge confrontation on Twitter, saying: “This is an impossible situation.

“That’s where our Government has left us. More and more people are realising taking action is the right thing to do.

“Do we disrupt other ordinary people, like this man, arrested for lashing out today, or just sit back and watch everything burn?”

Tuesday’s clashes came after footage of another confrontation in the City of London was posted on social media on Friday.

A man appeared to approach JSO protesters as they marched slowly in front of traffic on Mansell Street, near the Tower of London, before snatching their banners and pushing a woman to the ground.

He was also filmed grabbing a phone from one of the campaigners and threw it away, before trying to push other activists out of the road.

Police now have powers under the Public Order Act to force protesters out of the road and onto the pavement. These orders were used at all three bridges on Tuesday by 8.55am, JSO said.

The Metropolitan Police urged the public not to intervene in protest action.

A spokesman said: “At around 8.25am, Met police officers detained a male member of the public for common assault after an altercation between him and two Just Stop Oil protesters on Blackfriars Bridge.

“There have been no arrests and police are investigating the matter. We completely understand the frustration and anger of London’s communities when protesters walk slowly in the roads.

“We urge people not to intervene and to let police deal with the situation who, if not already there, will arrive promptly.”

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