The Andromeda vessel was forced to alter course late last night in waters opposite Gravesend and Northfleet after 12 members of Greenpeace stormed an oil terminal. Some protesters managed to make their way to Navigator Terminals, where the tanker was due to stop just before midnight. They then climbed on it and hung signs around it that said “WAR ON OIL FUELS”.
Activists were protesting against the British government for leaving fossil fuel money to Vladimir Putin as his troops continue to brutally devastate Ukraine with Russia’s war in the country.
Essex Police say they were called to the Oliver Road site just after 11pm last night (Sunday). The force is working with its partners to get a number of other people to safety. Officers are “currently working to resolve the situation quickly and safely.”
Essex Police said in a statement: “We were called to the Oliver Road site shortly after 11.05pm yesterday (Sunday May 15).
“So far, eight people suspected of aggravated trespassing have been arrested and we are working with our partners to get a number of others to safety.
“Our officers are currently working to resolve the situation quickly and safely.
“The police are not anti-protest, but we must intervene where there is a risk to life or where there is a suspicion that the laws are being broken.
“We hope this will be resolved safely and quickly so our officers can get back to protecting and serving the people of Essex.”
Georgia Whitaker, British oil and gas campaigner from Greenpeace, said: ‘The UK’s attachment to fossil fuels has backfired in the worst way possible – we are funding a war, our energy bills and fuel costs are exorbitant, and we are driving the climate crisis. It has to stop.
“Putin invaded Ukraine nearly three months ago, and yet UK fossil fuel money is still funding his war chest.
“Ministers have launched a ban on Russian oil imports until the end of the year despite strong public support.
“To stand up to Putin, lower bills and fight climate change, the Prime Minister must get us off fossil fuels as soon as possible, stop the ridiculous waste of energy from our sub-draughty homes and prioritizing cheap, clean, locally produced renewable energy.
Countries around the world are taking strong steps to reduce their dependence on Russian fossil fuels in order to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine.
The UK has announced a ban on the arrival of Russian-flagged and Russian-owned ships.
Despite the decision, Greenpeace said Russian fossil fuels still arrive via ships registered in other countries.
The campaign group says the tanker Andromeda travels under the Greek flag, but carries fuel from the Russian port of Primorsk.
Greenpeace said: “Oil and gas make up 40% of Russia’s federal budget and account for 60% of its exports. In October 2021, Russia was earning more than $500 million a day from fossil fuels.
“To put it simply: every time we buy Russian oil or gas, the money from our pockets goes to Putin to fund this war. Yet we can help stop the war by reducing the demand for fossil fuels.
“Even before this war in Ukraine, we were facing an energy price crisis in the UK. Millions of people are at risk of falling into poverty as they struggle to pay higher energy bills and a higher cost of living.
“Now household bills could rise by £3,000 by October 2022. Which could leave almost 8.5 million households in fuel poverty, 2.5 million more than before the start of the crisis. war.
“Last year we may have seen our energy company go bankrupt or see offshore workers face months of unemployment due to government inaction.
“But now we all see how closely oil and gas are tied to paying for illegal wars, and how vulnerable we are when we rely heavily on fossil fuels.”
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