Breaking: Just Stop Oil tunnellers end their 13 day occupation as Police Chief acknowledges climate change a ‘serious concern’

Three Just Stop Oil supporters, who excavated a tunnel near the UK’s largest oil terminal in Essex, ended their 13 day occupation today. They are demanding that the government end new oil and gas projects in the UK.

The tunnellers voluntarily left the tunnel at approximately 3:45pm and were immediately arrested by Essex Police. Earlier, they had revealed the true extent of their tunnel by breaking upwards through the road surface some 52 feet (16m) from the tunnel entrance.

The tunnel under St. Clement’s Way was one of two tunnels in Essex which, along with actions by Just Stop Oil supporters including roadblocks and “tanker-surfing”, succeeded in disrupting deliveries from the Navigator oil terminal during the past 13 days. [1]

Chief Constable of Essex Police, BJ Harrington has recognised in a statement that Climate Change is a serious concern. He must now understand that the Government plans for new oil and gas and their lack of action to reduce emissions threatens ordered civil society and risks the lives of millions. He must know that as citizens, as humans, as parents and children we have every right under British law to protect ourselves and those we love. [2]

Xavier Gonzalez Trimmer , 21, who works in the climbing industry and was one of those in the tunnel said:

“Boris Johnson said we are wreaking havoc and Priti Patel said we are waging a war on the British people, but the truth is we are ordinary people who have run out of options. What do you do when faced with a government that seems hellbent on driving us all to destruction?”

“I cannot standby and watch while our government allows profiteering energy companies to drive us into poverty, destroy our jobs and wreak havoc on the climate. I will not stop until the government agrees to end new oil and gas. Thousands of people will come together from October 1st at Westminster for the biggest act of civil resistance in UK history. Join us.”

Joe Howlett, 32, a musician and teacher from Bath who was also in the tunnel said

“I used to think the climate crisis was a human problem, but when living in Columbia I met many people who have never taken a flight, people working the soil with their hands and indigenous tribes living in balance with nature. They didn’t cause this mess.”

“The climate crisis is caused by a very small minority of people and it’s those same people who are currently profiteering from the cost of living crisis. That’s why I’ve spent the last 10 days living in a tunnel under a road leading to the Navigator oil terminal in Essex. We are demanding that the UK government stop all new licences and consents for fossil fuels in the UK. Join us in Westminster on October 1st. Just Stop Oil.”

Sam Johnson, 39, a groundworker from Suffolk, who was in the tunnel said

“In July we experienced 40C heat for the first time in UK history and our emergency services  could not cope. Just look at Pakistan – one third of the country was submerged by catastrophic floods and 33 million people have been displaced. This is the reality of climate collapse and it is happening here in the UK, it is happening all around the world and it is happening now. That is why we need to act now! 

“The UK government is not only failing to act, it is currently planning over 40 new oil and gas projects in the UK and 130 if Liz Truss gets her way.  This is madness! Our Government is guilty of climate genocide. They are destroying our lives for profit. We need to transition to renewable energy now. We need to stop new oil and gas.” 

Just Stop Oil continues to resist the government’s plans to greenlight over 40 new oil and gas projects and seven Just Stop Oil supporters are being held in prison, without having had the chance to defend themselves in a court of law. One, Emma Smart, has continued to non-violently resist. The response she received from prison staff, has resulted in her requiring urgent medical attention. She is believed to have extensive injuries to her face, head & wrist, which have prompted supporters of Just Stop Oil to demonstrate outside HMP Peterbrough for two days running.

Those gaoled knew what they risked, they are not requesting sympathy – they want the British people to join them in resisting a government that is prepared to see the vulnerable mistreated, millions reduced to destitution while they burn our rights, freedoms and our security. Oil is fuelling wars and causing drought, extreme heat, wildfires and crop failures. We’ve just seen 40C in the UK, for the first time in recorded history and it’s going to get hotter. 

Enough is enough. New oil and gas is criminal, an act of genocide against billions of people in the poorest countries on earth, and an act of war against the young. We are not prepared to just watch while everything we love is destroyed. We are going to stop new oil and free ourselves from fossil fuel extortion and destitution, whether those in power agree or not.  

From October 1st in Westminster, Just Stop Oil will be organising for the largest act of civil disobedience in UK history. If we all come together we can do this. We can Just Stop Oil.


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Notes to Editors



About Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups working together to demand that the government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.

We must urgently end our reliance on fossil fuels to avoid irreversible changes in the earth’s climate system. We cannot continue to burn fossil fuels in the belief that future developments in carbon capture and storage and other so-called “unicorn technologies” will allow us to suck vast quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 

The UK must begin this process immediately. It starts by calling a halt to any further fossil fuel projects on the UK Continental Shelf. That would give us eight years of fossil fuel production left in which to rapidly transition to a zero carbon economy.

Everyone knows we have to engage in massive changes. Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups demanding the no-brainer things be done immediately – actions that will reduce the demand for fossil fuel energy dramatically such as insulating our homes, rethinking how we travel, getting on with renewable energy and making sure no-one is left behind. 

We either come together as humanity or we die. Youth know which they choose. They have already chosen. They are in the streets to demand a future. We are all in the streets to make sure they get it. It’s as basic as that.

Further information about Just Stop Oil and our demands here: