Just Stop Oil protester who scaled M25 gantry sparking Heathrow disruption says she'd do it again

Activist from the Just Stop Oil group, Cressida Gethin, during a press conference in central London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Archive)
Activist from the Just Stop Oil group, Cressida Gethin, during a press conference in central London (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Archive)

A Just Stop Oil protester who disrupted thousands of journeys at Heathrow by scaling a gantry above the M25 has said she would repeat the stunt.

Cressida Gethin, 22, climbed the gantry in July 2022 to protest the UK reaching its hottest temperature on record, 40C (104F), the day before.

As a result of the protest by the climate activist group, 3,923 British Airways customers were affected by cancellations and delays, a court heard in February.

The protester faces being sent to prison when she is sentenced next month.

In an interview with environmentalist Chris Packham, Gethin said she would like to speak to some of the people affected by the protest as she said that she would have no hesitation protesting in the same way again.

She told the Radio Times: "I would [do it all again], 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."

The protester said she had mixed feelings about her actions, which caused nine-mile tailbacks.

Gethin added that she faced a “very real moral dilemma of knowing that people would be stuck in their cars and missing important events”.

She continued: “I heard one person missed their parent's funeral, which I would never want. It doesn't sit easy with me."

Gethin, whose father was a member of Musicians Against Nuclear Arms in his youth, has not yet returned to her studies as a music undergraduate at Cambridge University, having taken time out to focus on climate activism.

Packham was caught up in the gridlock but went on to give evidence in Gethin's defence in court.

He told the court during the trial that he was stuck in the resulting traffic for four to five hours during a trip from Hampshire to Surrey, where he was working on a BBC programme.

At the time he said that Just Stop Oil's actions caused him to consider the reasons behind the protest.

"Initially, I felt very frustrated and then I changed my thinking. I sat and contemplated the reason that might have motivated the protesters to take that action," he told Isleworth Crown Court.

"It was a day after the UK had recorded its highest-ever temperature and two days previously the government's net-zero plan had been declared illegal.

“This led me to sympathise with the fact that I needed to be put in a position where I was forced to think about the gravity of the situation."