Just Stop Oil supporters disrupt traffic on London’s roads despite government posturing on tougher policing tactics

Just Stop Oil supporters have stopped traffic on two key routes in Central London today to demand that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents. [1]

At 8:00am, 13 Just Stop Oil supporters wearing hi-vis vests walked onto the road at Shepherds Bush Green in west London and proceeded to march slowly in the road, causing traffic delays.  Police arrested two people for obstruction of the highway. 

A further action is now in progress at the Aldwych in central London.

Today’s disruption follows weekend reports of yet another government directed police “crackdown” on nonviolent action by Just Stop Oil.   [2]

A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said 

“Wanting to prevent the end of human civilization is not a “cause” and Just Stop Oil is not a protest movement. Our supporters are ordinary people who are using all possible peaceful means to ensure a future for humanity. They are engaging in nonviolent direct action to stop new oil and gas because history has shown that it is the only way to achieve the scale of change that we need. ”

“We will not be intimidated by changes to the law or government posturing on tougher policing tactics. Just Stop Oil supporters understand that this is irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter and the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities. The government can end this disruption tomorrow if they agree to halt new oil and gas licences and consents.”

Hannah Smith, 20, a student from London said

“We are constantly asked “why are you doing this?”. We’ve made that obvious. The real question is: why is the government refusing to listen? The  people of this country have had enough, and we deserve better from our leaders.” 

“Many people feel hopeless, but I say turn your climate anxiety into anger, and aim that anger towards the government. By encouraging more new oil and gas, they are actively making it worse. Don’t let them convince you that we can’t make change. When we move as a collective, we have power.”   

Alex Mackaness, 28, a charity worker from Bristol said:

“The warnings of the world’s top scientists about our future terrify me- we’re heading towards catastrophe but seem unwilling to do anything about it. I’m doing this for those who can’t yet speak up, like my five-year old cousin, who should be looking forward to his future on this beautiful planet.”

I’d like to ask our leaders what they expect us to do when we hear the UN General Secretary tell us that we’re on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator? My message is that we won’t be silenced and we will continue to do whatever is nonviolently possible to force the government to end new oil and gas.”

Today’s actions are the first since 10th November, which marked the end of six weeks of continuous disruption and civil resistance by supporters of Just Stop Oil during which the police made over 700 arrests. Since the campaign began on April 1st, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested over 2,000 times, with 27 supporters currently in prison. [3]

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. By continuing to encourage new oil and gas they are complicit in the death of millions and are facilitating the collapse of the ordered society that allows democracy to function. 

Stand with our supporters in prison, with the 1,700 murdered across the global south, for protecting all our lives. We are not prepared to just watch while they destroy everything we love. 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. [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. 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] https://juststopoil.org/2022/11/27/a-response-to-reports-of-a-crackdown-on-protest/

[3] There are now 27 Just Stop Oil supporters in prison on remand or serving sentances for taking action to demand that the government halts new oil and gas licences.  They include Abigail Percy Ratcliffe, Adelheid Russenberger, Alexander Wilcox, Alfie Beswick, Callum Goode, Catherine Rennie-Nash, Daniel Shaw, Ian Bates, Isobel Rock, Jan Goodey, Roger Hallam, Karen Matthews, Lucia Whittaker, Mair Bain, Molly Berry, Nick Onley, Paul Bell, Paul Bleach, Phoebe Plummer, Tez Burns, Tim Hewes, Joshua Smith, Louis McKechnie, Michelle Charlesworth, Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker. Elliott Cuciurean is also in prison for taking action against HS2.

[4]  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.