A man was handcuffed after he tried to push Just Stop Oil protesters off the road they were blocking.
Footage shows him shoving an activist from the front row of the demonstration onto the pavement with such force that he fell to the ground this morning.
While a police officer was helping the protester up, the man went on to push someone else holding a banner, on Blackfriars Bridge in London.
Officers intervened and a scuffle broke out.
Video footage showed cars hooting repeatedly, police sirens sounding in the background and a passenger angrily leaping out of his vehicle to tell the officers who were holding the man against his van to ‘get off’.
A voice could be heard shouting ‘absolutely disgusting’ before another yelled: ‘Come on, give the guy a break – he’s just trying to get to work.’
The Met has since confirmed a man was detained ‘for common assault after an altercation between him and two Just Stop Oil protesters’ but added no arrests have been made.
Deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor said: ‘I completely understand the frustration and anger of London’s communities when protesters walk slowly in the roads and wonder why we do not just arrest them.’
He went on to explain that the police have ‘legal obligations’ to ‘balance the rights of protesters against the rights of the wider public’ and keep the response to protest ‘proportionate’.
He said officers had used their power to ‘impose conditions to prevent serious disruption to the public on several occasations.
When those conditions were not complied with, more than 30 arrests took place.
Mr Taylor said: ‘Therefore., I urge people not to intervene and to let police deal with the situation.
‘This morning’s incident on Blackfriars Bridge, in which a member of the public assaulted two protesters, was unacceptable and we will deal with anyone who behaves in this way.
‘Officers on the scene responded proportionately. They detained the man in handcuffs to prevent further breach of the peace.’
Just Stop Oil tweeted: ‘This is an impossible situation. Do we disrupt other ordinary people, like this man, arrested for lashing out today, or just sit back and watch everything burn?
‘That’s where our government has left us. More and more people are realising taking action is the right thing to do.’
Blackfriars was one of three bridges in the capital which saw climate protests today – along with Tower Bridge and London Bridge.
Similar scenes took place last Friday when a man ripped signs from Just Stop Oil marchers and then pushed them, on Mansell Street in east London.
A phone was also reportedly smashed after it was thrown from an activist’s hand.
A meeting between senior police officers and MPs was interrupted by a group of Just Stop Oil activists last Wednesday.
Since the Just Stop Oil campaign was launched on February 14 last year, there have been more than 2,100 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison.
The group repeatedly calls on the public to join them in ‘civil resistance’ against new oil, gas and coal.
A slow march is also planned in Parliament Square on Saturday.
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