Seven Just Stop Oil supporters declared ‘Not-Guilty.’

Seven Just Stop Oil supporters have been found ‘Not Guilty’ at City of London Magistrates Court, appearing on the 16th & 17th January, across 2 trials. The court determined that any disruption caused by the Just Stop Oil supporters was proportionate, given their rights to protest. 

Appearing in front of Judge Cieciora, on the 16th January, defendants, Zoë Dukoff-Gordon, Harvey Belcher, Anthony Loukes, and Ben Homfray, were charged with Wilful Obstruction of the Highway, for peacefully blocking a road in Spitalfields, London, on the 30th October 2022. In a second trial, held on the 17th January, for the same action, Kay Wagland, Jo Shipham and one other defendant who preferred to not be named, appeared before Judge Tempia, and were also acquitted. The Just Stop Oil supporters were demanding an end to life-threatening fossil fuel projects in the UK, as the government seeks to authorise 100 new licences for fossil fuel exploration.[1] [2]

Speaking before the trial, one of those who took action, Zoë Dukoff-Gordon, 25, a caseworker for refugees, from Portsmouth, said:

“I took this action because I am scared, desperate, and I don’t know what else to do. If the British Government won’t listen to prestigious groups like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations, the International Energy Agency, or even their own Climate Change Committee, who will they listen to? 

I’m sad and angry about what is to come, as the climate continues to collapse and our civilisation deteriorates. However, I know that I’m on the right side of history. I know that when I look back, I’ll be able to look myself and future generations in the eye, and say that I did everything I could.”

Another of those who took action, Anthony Loukes, 84, a retired teacher from Wellingborough, said:

“My life has been in the service of young people and I stepped into civil resistance on behalf of them, and indeed, all other young people. 

With the ongoing breakdown of our food systems, due to crop failure, brought about by increasingly extreme weather conditions, it seems likely that my grandchildren will not live nearly as long as I have. However, they are the lucky ones when compared to the children displaced in Pakistan, those starving in the Horn of Africa, and the countless others who are being killed, right now, as a direct result of the policies of our government and the fossil fuel companies they support. History will regard them as climate criminals and if there were any justice, it is them who would be on trial today.”

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign began on April 1st 2022, there have been over 2,000 arrests and 150 people have spent time in prison. There are currently 11 Just Stop Oil supporters in prison awaiting trial or serving sentences for actions taken with the campaign.

We stand with our 11 supporters in prison, with the 1,800 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. This is the moment for us to come together and resist the destruction of everything we love, something that is being imposed on us by a few, who only seek to enrich themselves. We’re done with begging. We are going to stop new fossil fuel projects whether those in power agree or not. As citizens, parents and children, we have every right under British law to protect ourselves and those we love. We are the last generation who can solve this. Will you step up? Join us and Just Stop Oil. [3][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] Press Release from 23rd October 2022-

[3] 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, with 1,800 people in prison without trial for at least a year.

[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.