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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 15:25 GMT
Four charged over Esso protests
Protesters gather at the Esso HQ in Leatherhead, Surrey
Protesters abseiled onto the roof at Esso's HQ in Surrey on Monday
Four people have been charged with aggravated trespass following a series of protests at Esso petrol stations in the Southampton area.

A total of 11 Greenpeace activists were arrested on Monday following demonstrations in Eastleigh, Bitterne, Romsey, Blackfield and Totton - which saw pumps being padlocked and protesters chaining themselves to equipment.

The seven other people have been bailed to return to Lyndhurst police station in May pending further inquiries.

The protests were part of a UK-wide day of action by Greenpeace which saw about 300 protesters demonstrate against Esso and its parent company ExxonMobil Corporation.

It is ludicrous to suggest that ExxonMobil is in any way encouraging a potential war in Iraq
ExxonMobil spokesman
Greenpeace said Esso supported military action against Saddam Hussein and had committed "environmental crimes", although the firm rejects the accusations.

In Surrey, a group of protesters forced the closure of the Esso headquarters.

Esso acknowledged that, by 0900 GMT on Monday, protesters had been to at least 50 of its 1,300 petrol stations across the UK.

"People have every right to express their views but it is ludicrous to suggest that ExxonMobil is in any way encouraging a potential war in Iraq," a spokesman for the firm said.

Those charged with aggravated trespass were:

  • Joseph Cox, 41, of Southampton

  • Claire Insley, 34, of Bracknell, Berkshire

  • Rebecca Minton, 21, of Brighton

  • Drummond Richardson, 32, of Redhill, Surrey

Eleven arrested in Esso protests
24 Feb 03 |  England

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