Just Stop Oil supporters slow march again calling for U-turn on coal decision

Just Stop Oil supporters have stopped traffic on key routes in Central London today to demand that the government halts all new fossil fuel licences and consents and reverses last week’s disastrous decision on a new coal mine. [1]

At 8:00am, 17 Just Stop Oil supporters wearing hi-vis vests walked onto Green Lanes, Finsbury Park and proceeded to march slowly northwards accompanied by around 7 police officers.

A further action is planned later this morning in Camden Town.

Sheila Shatford, 67, grandmother of two and former nurse from Bristol, who has already spent 13 days in prison for taking action with Just Stop Oil, said:

“As a baby boomer I have a responsibility and a need to stand beside all the brave young people who are prepared to put their careers and freedom on the line in order to stop the wanton destruction of their future and the misery and suffering happening right now as a result of climate breakdown. 

“Shame on you Mr Sunak, for allowing your government to support oil and gas expansion, shame on you for allowing a new coal mine that nobody wants or needs. Shame on you for demonising peaceful people. You can ban us, revile us, lock us up but you won’t stop us. We will not be complicit in the destruction of everything we hold dear.”

Peter Smith, 30, from Harringey, London said:

“The stark reality is terrifying. If we continue down the road we are currently on we don’t have a future. We face starvation and misery and the loss of all we hold dear. Normal people need to take a stand and support Just Stop Oil in stopping new fossil fuel licences and moving towards a sustainable future.”

Ludi Simpson, 69, a retired planner from Shipley, Yorkshire said:

“The UN general secretary says that spending on new fossil fuel exploration is delusional. Our government is doing just that and I fear for my children’s future. My action is from the heart and the head. I know politicians can do the right thing if they listen to the facts. Their inaction is burning up our lives.  I want us all to have lives we can be proud of. Is it too much to ask for a safe future? Governments must end the greed of oil companies which is immoral and killing us.”

Last week the government annouced that it has given the greenlight to the UK’s first new coal mine in 30 years at Whitehaven in Cumbria. A mine that will produce coal that no British company wants or needs, whose credentials rest on dangerous lies about jobs and carbon capture and storage.[2]

This week and next sees the continuation of plea and bail hearings for the Just Stop Oil supporters arrested as part of the four days of action on the M25 during November as well as for actions taken earlier in the campaign [3] 

Six weeks of continuous disruption and civil resistance by supporters of Just Stop Oil during October and November resulted in over 700 arrests. 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. 

We stand 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][6]


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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.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/07/what-is-the-cumbrian-coalmine-and-why-does-it-matter-woodhouse-colliery

[3] Upcoming hearings:

M25 Gantry actions: 

15th December-  Aylesbury Cown Court, Guildford Crown Court

19th December – Aylesbury Cown Court, Basildon Crown Court

20th December – Southwark Crown Court

23rd December – Southwark Crown Court

[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, 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. 

[6] 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.