Fourteen in prison for demanding liveable planet

11 Just Stop Oil supporters are being held on remand for standing on a grass verge at Kingsbury Oil Depot and holding hand made placards. 

On May 5th they joined three peaceful Insulate Britain [1] supporters who are currently serving prison terms, one for spray painting ‘Insulate Britain’ in washable chalk spray on the outside wall of a court [2].

The 11Just Stop Oil supporters remanded in custody, had been summoned to attend court on May 5th, charged with breaking Warwickshire Council’s private injunction. They refused to attend court, instead travelling to Kingsbury to re-break the injunction by standing on a grass verge outside the massive Kingsbury oil depot holding hand made signs. 

They are due back in court next week. These ordinary, peaceful people know the risks they are taking – that of unlimited fines and losing their freedoms for up to two years. They are more afraid of the horrific consequences of climate breakdown than they are of the state.

Simon Milner-Edwards 65, from Manchester said:

Fossil fuels are killing this planet. Our government is licensing new fossil fuel extraction – which is murder. Now they are criminalising us for protesting against new fossil fuels! I will not be quiet while they steal my grandchildren’s future. I will not be a bystander. 

Sarah Webb, 50, from Oxfordshire said: 

I’m risking prison because we all know that Fossil Fuels are killing us and nothing much is being done about it. We cannot trust the Government to fix this, the same Government who partied on the graves of Covid victims.  We cannot trust the Fossil Fuel companies to use their massive profits to go green, because they have known about this for over 30 years and done nothing but discredit the science, distract governments and now try to greenwash their image.  We are out of time, the only thing left is civil resistance, because nothing else worked.  

After a total of 60 hours the last Just Stop Oil supporter was removed from the Nustar Oil Depot, Glasgow. All 31 of those arrested have been charged and released, 15 with fines of £40 for breach of the peace and a further 16 with a contravention of a section of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 which relates to trespass, and alleged malicious mischief.

A recent poll carried out by Social Change Lab found that 58% of UK adults support the demands of Just Stop Oil for an immediate halt to future licensing of fossil fuel extraction,  with only 23% against and 19% neutral [3] and yet the day after local elections the voice of ordinary people is not being heard. 

While oil companies make obscene profits[4], ordinary people struggle with a rising cost of living and people die from heat exposure  in India[5], the government plans a new round of licensing for oil exploration at 40 new sites in the North Sea [6]


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Notes to Editors:

  5. Whilst recorded deaths in the current heatwave in India are only at 25, it is not unreasonable to expect that with similar temperatures to the heatwave in 2015, the death toll could rise into the 1000s