Just Stop Oil protester facing jail for chaos at Heathrow Airport vows she would do it AGAIN

Just Stop Oil protester facing jail for chaos at Heathrow Airport vows she would do it AGAIN

Watch: ‘It’s not fair!’ Bev Turner in furious clash with Just Stop Oil activist threatening to RUIN summer

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 16/04/2024

- 07:41

Updated: 16/04/2024

- 07:52

'I recall thinking that if the aim of the action was to get media attention we'd succeeded', Cressida Gethin said

A Just Stop Oil activist who climbed a gantry over the M25, leaving almost 4,000 airline passengers at Heathrow facing delays and cancellations, has claimed she would "do it all again" - despite being found guilty of causing a public nuisance.

Cressida Gethin, 22, faces a sentencing hearing next month over the July 2022 protest, and opened up to Chris Packham - who has expressed support for the group in the past - about her role in the "precarious" and "physically dangerous" demonstration.

Speaking to the celebrity environmentalist for the Radio Times, Gethin was asked whether she would do it all again; she replied: "I would, but there's one thing I'd do additionally - and I'm still considering it...

"I'd find some way of meeting with anyone who had been affected by what I did, so they could tell me how they felt."

Cressida Gethin/JSO protesters/M25 action

Cressida Gethin said the "moral dilemma" of making people miss important events via her M25 protest didn't "sit easy" with her

PA/Just Stop Oil

The Cambridge University music student, who has taken two years away from her course to pursue climate protesting, said: "Sitting up there, surrounded by six lanes of empty motorway, I recall thinking that if the aim of the action was to get media attention we'd succeeded.

"But at the same time, the very real moral dilemma of knowing that people would be stuck in their cars and missing important events - I heard one person missed their parent's funeral, which I would never want - doesn't sit easy with me."

When Gethin was convicted at Isleworth Crown Court in February this year, she told jurors in her closing statement: "There may well have been more people in the traffic jams who felt like Chris Packham - we heard from Mr Packham that he did not feel seriously annoyed when stuck in the traffic."

The broadcaster had given evidence in the 22-year-old's defence - despite being held up in the protest-induced traffic for up to five hours while travelling between Hampshire and Surrey for a TV show.


Chris Packham and Cressida Gethin

Chris Packham has defended Gethin before - and said the protests forced him to think about the "gravity of the situation"


Packham, 62, had told a jury that he "sympathised" with the fact that sitting in traffic for so long meant he was "forced to think about the gravity of the [climate] situation".

Outside the court, the 62-year-old said later: "What makes a music student, aged 22, with her whole life ahead of her, do something as precarious, physically dangerous and now, potentially in terms of an impact on her life, dangerous?

"Well, I think I know the reason and I think everyone else knows the reason."

In her closing statement, Gethin told the court: "If you believed that the protest causing the delays was intended to create meaningful, positive change, would you have defined the delay as 'serious inconvenience'?"

Judge Hannah Duncan said "evidence about climate change wasn't admissible or relevant", though she added that she believed the average person would consider the climate crisis "far more serious" than a nuisance, but "that's not what they [the jury] are considering".

Following the verdict, Gethin - found guilty of causing a public nuisance contrary to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 - said she "felt very strongly" the need to tell the jury "why I had done what I had done", despite admitting that pleading guilty would have given credit in her favour in their eyes.

The protester's father, Nick, himself an activist in his youth with Musicians Against Nuclear Arms - said that he did not know about her plans, but would not have attempted to stop her if he had.

But he acknowledged that his daughter could land herself in "real physical danger" by meeting the people impacted by her protest, adding: "You've seen the level of hatred and abuse you get just sitting in the middle of the road."

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