Day 29: Just Stop Oil supporters stop traffic in central, south and west London

Just Stop Oil supporters have blocked roads at four locations across London. They are demanding that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents. [1]

At noon today, 61 Just Stop Oil supporters walked onto Charing Cross Road, High Street Kensington, Harleyford Street and Blackfriars Road and sat down holding banners. A number have locked onto each other and some have glued onto the tarmac.

Anna Berrill, 20, a philosophy student from Leeds said:

“I’m doing this because it breaks my heart to witness the tragedies that are happening and will keep coming because of our actions, and to live in a crumbling world and not do anything is unbearable.”   

Helen Redfern , 57, a grandmother of four and social enterprise founder from Gateshead   

“I’m joining the Just Stop Oil campaign today because for me, taking nonviolent direct action seems to be the only option left to me. The government is not taking the devastating effects of the climate emergency seriously. They’re still granting new oil and gas licenses when it’s clear that oil and gas are the problem, not the solution. I cannot sit by and watch people suffering around the world already, knowing that unless we act fast, more and more people will suffer more and more climate related disasters now and in the future.”

David Nixon, 36, from Barnsley said:    

“There is no grey area anymore. It’s now black and white. Completely clear. We either take radical action or we lose everything.  Collective suicide, code red, doomed. How much worse do the descriptions have to get before we act to try to salvage what we can? ”  

Jim Green, 66, a father of two and retired primary teacher from Norwich said:

“Like many others I helped deliver food parcels during the pandemic, but there is a time when trying to be a good neighbour involves getting real about the climate crisis and acting appropriately.  I would love to ask the Prime Minister why we followed the science during the pandemic but ignore it in response to the climate crisis? And why we give more in subsidies to the oil and gas companies than to the poorest countries in the world?”   

Just Stop Oil continues to peacefully resist the government’s plans to licence over 100 new oil and gas projects by 2025, and its failure to fulfil its promise to help people with their skyrocketing energy bills. Policy failures that will force millions into poverty and facing a choice between heating, eating, or providing the basic essentials for themselves and their families. 

Today’s roadblock follows four weeks of continuous civil resistance by supporters of Just Stop Oil during which the police have made 626 arrests. Since the campaign began on April 1st, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested over 1,900 times, with 7 supporters currently in prison.[2]

This is not a one day event, expect us every day and anywhere. 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 1,700 murdered across the global south, for protecting all our lives. 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. [3]


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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. Just Stop Oil is a member of the A22 Network of civil resistance projects. Climate Emergency Fund is Just Stop Oil’s primary funder for recruitment, training, and capacity building. 

[2] There are now 7 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 Joshua Smith, Louis McKechnie, Simon Milner-Edwards, Margaret Reid, Michelle Charlesworth, Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker.  Also in prison are Scott Breen for taking action against the Southampton to Heathrow pipeline and Elliott Cuciurean for taking action against HS2

[3] A recent report from Global Witness says that more than 1,700 people have died while trying to prevent mining, oil drilling or logging on their lands.