Protesters march across fields from Stanford to the refinery.
A MAJOR oil refinery was brought to standstill by climate activists today.
Protestors flooded into Thurrock and 12 women, affiliated to the action group Crude Awakening, chained themselves to immobilized vehicles on both lanes of the road approaching Coryton Oil refinery. They mounted ‘tripods’ across the Manorway to block traffic and climbed up the structures.
Dozens of police rushed to the scene and the whole area surrounding the refinery, operated by Petroplus, was cordoned off. A police helicopter circled the site.
In a co-ordinated move, protestors from the Crude Awakening event in London boarded trains bound for Stanford-le-Hope, close to the refinery.
The protest group said they had previously announced plans to target central London oil businesses. However, this was a ruse in a bid to outfox the police, with Coryton having been the ultimate destination all along.
However, the police were aware of the threat, with mini-buses full of officers seen in the town from early morning. Others were at stations en-route and it is is believed some protestors were stopped from boarding trains by police at Fenchurch Street station.
Protest group spokesperson Terri Orchard, who is taking part, said: “We don’t have a hope of tackling climate change if we don’t find a way to start moving beyond oil. But Big Oil is relentless. From the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic to the Canadian tar sands, oil companies are devastating local environments, trampling the rights of local communities, and pushing us over the edge to catastrophic climate change.
“We are here at the source of the problem, at the UK’s busiest oil refinery, to stop the flow of oil to London. We’re here to put a spanner in the works of the relentless flow of oil and to say no more. This place, this whole industry, must become a thing of the past.”
Swiss-based oil refiner Petroplus Holdings AG operates the Coryton site, which can process 172,000 barrels of crude each day. No one at the company could immediately be reached for comment.
Pictures from http://www.crudeawakening.org.uk/