51 Just Stop Oil supporters jailed after mass civil resistance in court

51 ordinary people who took action at Kingsbury Oil Terminal on Wednesday were remanded to prison for at least a week by high court judges in Birmingham and London today after they refused to comply with court proceedings. [1]

This included 30 Just Stop Oil supporters who appeared at the Queen Elizabeth Court in Birmingham before Her Honour Judge Kelly and 21 supporters who appeared before Mr Justice Lavender at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

The Just Stop Oil supporters refused to comply with proceedings in a variety of ways:

El Lytton stood on the court furniture, while Ruth Jarman, of Christian Climate Action, refused to recognise the court’s authority, saying she was accountable to a Higher Power. 

Tez Burns and Sheila Shatford turned their backs on the judge while Gerard Latimer, Mary Adams and Charlotte Kirin refused to stand for the judge and talked over her to explain their reasons for non-compliance. 

Darcy Mitchell took off his shirt to reveal the words “SHAM JUSTICE KILLS KIDS” written on his body, while Rajan Naidu held up a copy of “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells and recommended it to the court before promising to break the injunction again if bailed.

Many of those appearing today had taken action with Just Stop Oil earlier in the year, but for Sheila Shatford it was her first arrest. 

During the Birmingham hearings, the following statements were made:

‘I will just go and do it again, and again, and again. What else can I do?’ – Diana Hekt.

‘The judiciary is colluding with people destroying life on earth. I will break the injunction again – I have a moral duty to do so’. – Zoe Cohen. 

‘’This court upholds the law in favour of corporations causing genocide and ecocide’ – Pam Williams

“This court is complicit in crimes against humanity’ – Sue Sidey.

“I don’t accept the authority of this court. I will go and do it again if I’m released. I will not return to this court” – Gillian Bird.

In London, those attending court spoke bravely and calmly. Michelle Cadet Rose spoke about her family in Barbados and how they will either drown or become climate refugees, and we know what happens to climate refugees with dark skin, she said. Victoria Lindsell questioned the judge on his complicity and asked if he made any emotional connection to the case.  He said his job was to judge this legal question. Theresa Norton told the judge that he does have a choice, that he could throw the case out and take a moral stand. All stated that if released they would return immediately to break the injunction.

The 51 remanded today join 3 other Just Stop Oil supporters currently held in prison without trial. Since April 1st when supporters of Just Stop Oil first began blocking oil terminals there have been over 1350 arrests. [2]

As the government doubles down on fossil fuel energy by “ramping up supply” and breaks its manifesto commitment on fracking, Just Stop Oil supporters will continue to take nonviolent direct action to demand an end to this genocidal death project. We accept the consequences of our actions and we don’t need you to feel sorry for us, we need you to step up and join us.  [3] [4]

This is the moment to come together and resist. We are not prepared to just watch while they destroy everything we love. We’re done with begging. Voting has changed nothing. We are going to stop new oil whether those in power agree or not. As citizens, as humans, as parents and children we have every right under British law to protect ourselves and those we love. This is the moment, we are the last generation that can solve this. Will you step up and join us? If we all come together we can do this. We can Just Stop Oil. Join us on October 1st in Westminster.


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Notes to Editors

[1] The 51 are charged with contempt of court for breaking the North Warwickshire injunction. They will now spend at least a week in prison ahead of their committal hearings scheduled for 20th and 21st of September.  https://www.northwarks.gov.uk/downloads/file/9139/injunction_order

[2] Still being held without trial for taking action with Just Stop Oil are: Joshua Smith, 29 from Manchester and Louis McKechnie, 21 from Weymouth, who have been on remand since July 7th and are expected to face trial in February 2023.  Chris Bennet, 31 from Bristol, who occupied one of the Essex tunnels near the Navigator oil terminal. In addition one person is in prison for resisting the Southampton- Heathrow pipeline. 

[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-liz-trusss-opening-speech-on-the-energy-policy-debate

[4] https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-why-fracking-is-not-the-answer-to-the-uks-energy-crisis/

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 – set for substantial expansion under the premiership of Liz Truss.

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: https://www.juststopoil.org