Just Stop Oil to march through Central London in solidarity with political prisoners 

Just Stop Oil supporters plan to assemble in Parliament Square on Saturday for a rally and march in solidarity with the 150  people who have been imprisoned for taking action with Just Stop Oil this year. The event aims to celebrate the political prisoners who have taken a stand against our criminal government on the biggest issue humanity has ever faced: that of climate collapse.[1]

Supporters will assemble at 12pm Saturday in Parliament Square before marching through central London past the home office to New Scotland Yard, where a number of speeches are planned featuring former prisoners, friends and family of those currently imprisoned and representatives of CND, Global Women’s Strike, Kill the Bill, Stop HS2 and Extinction Rebellion[2]

Indigo Rumblelow, a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said:

“We will not sit by and watch while the government imprisons peaceful people for conspiring to care, while they take away all our rights and freedoms, while they carry on torching the climate. New oil and gas is the greatest act of mass murder in human history. Those who support this criminal plan are complicit in genocide. They will be the ones on trial in years to come.

“Our supporters understand what the government and the police have not yet grasped. Your laws and punishments mean nothing in the face of the certain collapse of our food supply, our ordered civil society, our peace and security. We face the loss of everything we hold dear. We will continue to resist until the government makes a critical U-turn: to announce an end to new fossil fuel licences in the UK. “ 

Michelle Charlesworth said:

“Our government is betraying us. They are taking us down a path to societal collapse and destroying the conditions that make human life possible. They would rather lock up ordinary people – students, teachers, vicars, mums and dads – than deal with climate wrecking fossil fuels. We are not criminals, we are acting in defence of our families and communities. This affects us all. Either we step up and be counted, or we will lose everything.”

Over 150 people have been imprisoned for taking a stand against new oil and gas in the UK this year, including 51 people remanded on a single day in September and 24 who are currently in prison. They include:

-Louis McKechnie and Joshua Smith who have been on remand since July, a total of 160 days so far after invading the Formula 1 racetrack at Silverstone;  

-Marcus Decker and Morgan Trowland who have been on remand for a total of 53 days after climbing the QE2 bridge in October;

-Michelle Charlesworth, who spent a total of 80 days in prison this year for taking part in actions at Kingsbury Oil terminal before being released on 29th November; and

-Jan Goodey, who was the first person convicted of public nuisance under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act 2022 and will spend 6 months in prison for climbing an M25 gantry in November. [3]

Since the campaign began on April 1st, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested over 2,000 times, with 24 supporters currently in prison. [4]

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. 

Solidarity Event: Join us this Saturday (10th December), in Parliament Square from 12pm as we march and rally in solidarity with our 24 supporters in prison, with the 2,000 victims of our broken criminal justice system imprisoned for over a year without trial and 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. [5]


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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://www.facebook.com/events/673058797768951/

[3] Academics are urged to sign a letter of solidarity with Jan Goodey here: https://netpol.org/2022/12/08/solidarity-with-jan-goodey/

[4] There are now 24 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 El Litten, Barry Mitchell, Abigail Percy Ratcliffe, Adelheid Russenberger, Alexander Wilcox, Callum Goode, Catherine Rennie-Nash, Daniel Shaw, Ian Bates, Jan Goodey, Roger Hallam, Karen Matthews, Lucia Whittaker, Mair Bain, Molly Berry, Nick Onley, Paul Bell, Paul Bleach, Tim Hewes, Joshua Smith, Louis McKechnie, Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker. 

[5]  Fair Trials reports that the number of people being held in prison without trial in England and Wales is at its highest for over 50 years.