Just Stop Oil supporters block roads around Trafalgar Square in sixth day of resistance

** Correction – release previously incorrectly stated that queer supporters of Just Stop Oil had climbed police cars. We have now confirmed that this did not happen. **

Around 35 supporters of Just Stop Oil have disrupted traffic in Westminster today for the sixth day in a row to demand that the government halts all new oil and gas projects.  [1]

Several groups have blocked roads near Trafalgar Square by sitting down with banners and gluing themselves to the road. 

A group of 7 queer people have formed one of the roadblocks. They are dressed in drag to demonstrate their unapologetic queerness. They are sitting in the road with several gluing their hands to the tarmac in a show of defiance against a police force that throughout history has criminalised queer people.

Peter Tatchell, 70, an LGBT rights campaigner for more than 50 years, who helped organise Britain’s first pride parade in 1972 and founded OutRage!, said:

“There is no point campaigning for LGBT+ human rights if we don’t have a planet where we can enjoy them. Climate destruction is an existential threat to the survival of queer humanity. In the tradition of LGBT+ direct action by groups like OutRage!, heroic queer activists from Just Stop Oil are taking on the climate wreckers to save our planet from ecocide. They deserve our admiration and support.”

Oliver Clegg, 19, a student at Manchester said:

“Queer people have never stood by whilst injustice has happened, and we’re not about to start! Queer people defied, and continue to defy, the laws that hold us back. We never had anything handed to us, we had to fight for every single one of the rights we now have. And that fight isn’t over. The climate crisis has a disproportionate effect on people who are already marginalised including queer people. The climate crisis is a queer issue, and we are not going to stand by and let it happen. Civil resistance is a potent expression of queerness. We encourage queer people to join us in civil resistance.”

Cat Acheson, 27,  a sustainability research student at the University of East Anglia said:

We are in an economic and environmental crisis, with oil companies making obscene profits while climate breakdown spirals out of control, and ordinary people can’t afford to live. Enough is enough. We need an end to all new fossil fuel extraction, a redistribution of wealth, and clean, affordable energy for all. 

New investments in fossil fuels are completely incompatible with safe living conditions on this planet. I’m taking action in solidarity with all the people whose lives are being destroyed by the climate crisis, and for the generations to come, who will have to live with the harm that’s being caused by oil, coal, and gas.

Today’s disruption follows nearly a week of continuous disruption by supporters of Just Stop Oil. This disruption, which has largely targeted roads in Westminster, takes aim at the government’s inaction on both the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis. 

The actions this month are timed to coincide with the planned launch of a new round of oil and gas licensing in which over 100 new licences for oil and gas projects are likely to be awarded and an energy price hike on October 1st which means almost 8 million households are expected to fall into fuel poverty by April 1st 2023. [2] [3]

This is not a one day event, this is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project. Our supporters will be returning – today, tomorrow and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met: no new oil and gas in the UK.

We will not be intimidated by changes to the law, we will not be stopped by private injunctions sought to silence peaceful people. Our supporters understand that these are irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter, the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities.

Stand with our supporters in prison, with the 1700 murdered across the globe, for protecting our futures. We will not die silently, it will be ordinary people, like you, your friends, colleagues and neighbours who do what our government cannot. It will take all of us. [4]


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Notes to Editors

[1] 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. More information here: https://juststopoil.org/ 

[2]  https://www.ft.com/content/8146804f-770e-42ee-8435-72469f92b4fd

[3] https://www.endfuelpoverty.org.uk/news/
[4] There are now 5 Just Stop Oil supporters in prison on remand or serving sentences for taking action to demand that the government halts new oil and gas licences. They are Simon Milner-Edwards, Margaret Reid, Michelle Charlesworth, Barry Mitchell and Joshua Smith. In addition, Scott Breen is in prison for taking action against the Southampton to Heathrow pipeline and Elliott Cuciurean is in prison for taking action against HS2.