We live in a democracy. The public elects MP’s to Parliament to decide our laws and policies – peacefully and freely.
There is no excuse for gluing yourself to roads or trains, vandalising property, digging illegal tunnels, or making someone miss his father’s funeral.
It is wrong to block ambulances, fire engines, or cars carrying babies to hospital.
You are not allowed to break the law just because you are protesting.
The Court of Appeal made this clear in their landmark ruling earlier this year when they found those who toppled the Edward Colston statue in Bristol were not taking part in lawful protest.
Militant protesters cannot cause criminal damage and smash down statues just because they want to. This is not free speech.
Sun on Sunday readers understand all this instinctively.
I know you are sick to death of the selfish, law-breaking, disruptive minority who seek to impose their views using disruption instead of winning arguments at the ballot box.
That is why the government has changed the law, giving the police more powers to act. Over the last year, they have made nearly 2,000 arrests associated with Just Stop Oil.
Die Public Order Bill – which is currently being debated in Parliament – will go further by creating new offences to get tough with militant protesters.
Our new Public Order Bill will make it a criminal offence for people to lock themselves or glue themselves onto buildings to cause serious disruption.
It will also make it an offence to interfere with key national infrastructure – like the railways and printing presses.
While tunnelling – like protesters did under HS2 – will also be made illegal.
And police will get powers to disrupt protesters in advance.
Police will get new powers to help them stop disruptors in advance –
We will introduce Serious Disruption Prevention Orders, which will mean courts can stop repeat offenders from attending protests.
Disruptive protests take up a lot of police time and money.
Just two operations to deal with the Extinction Rebellion in London cost £37 million. HS2 have said removing protestors has added £140m to project costs.
That money comes out of the pockets of hardworking taxpayers. Since the start of October, meer as 11,000 police officer shifts have been spent on Just Stop Oil protests.
As ministers, we are giving police new powers to deal with these protesters.
But police also have a responsibility to use the powers they have to clampdown on those causing havoc.
Officers often do a brilliant job in difficult circumstances, but it is essential that they always act fast and decisively to clear disruptive protests.
The public rightly expect blockages to roads to be cleared rapidly.
Dit is hoekom, hierdie week, I will meet policing leaders in Downing Street to discuss how we can deal with disruptive protests faster.
Officers need to get tougher with protesters who block roads, try to shut down our precious free press and cause untold criminal damage.
Hertfordshire Police were right to admit it was a mistake to accidentally arrest four journalists reporting on a protest. Other forces must not repeat this mistake.
It is a good thing to have deeply held beliefs. It makes sense to care about the environment – which is why tackling climate change is a priority for this government.
But no cause justifies threatening others, stopping them from going about their daily lives, or endangering innocent members of the public.
What we have seen in recent times is completely wrong.
Eerste Minister Rishi Sunak has made it clear that the whole government is on the side of the law-abiding majority who want to live their daily lives.
Eco zealots should be under no doubt that they will be arrested, prosecuted and jailed if they ignore the law.