Just Stop Oil stages ‘go slow’ marches in Liverpool, Norwich and Brighton

Supporters of Just Stop Oil are staging ‘go slow’ marches in Liverpool, Norwich and Brighton today to demand that the government stops all new UK fossil fuel licences and consents. [1]

Over 120 Just Stop Oil supporters have turned out for peaceful marches across the three locations causing long traffic delays and tailbacks through city centres. 

In Liverpool around 30 Just Stop Oil supporters marched from Liverpool Lime Street this morning, while Norwich saw over 40 Just Stop Oil supporters turn up for the first such action in the region. Within the last few minutes around 55 Just Stop Oil supporters have to set off from the Level in Brighton heading for the seafront and town centre.  

The marches follow the widely publicised adoption of the new tactic in London, Sheffield and Manchester in recent weeks in defiance of the Prime Minister’s recent threat to crack down on the tactic. Further such actions are planned across the country in the coming months. [2][3]

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said:

“Our government knows that licensing new fossil fuel projects is signing a death warrent for young people, for whole populations living in small island states and the global south. We are facing death and mass migration in the millions and the loss of  peoples’ cultures, traditions and history – that’s genocide. In future our government, and the fossil fuel producers and their enablers, will be held to account for their crimes. 

“We have a moral duty to resist when the government is endangering life and we have the right to defend our loved ones from their genocidal policies.  The government has failed in its attempts to change the law to prevent people doing what they have always done to defend their rights and freedoms. So we will continue to march peacefully to demand action on the climate crisis, the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced.” 

Wendy Cocks, 64, a former councillor and housing policy officer from Rochdale who attended the march in Liverpool, said:

 “Liverpool is a great city, but the climate crisis means that much of it will disappear under the rising seas and waters of the Mersey. Against all the scientific advice our government is planning ever-more new oil, gas and coal projects here in the UK. This is reckless beyond belief, and I’m here today to demand they stop all new fossil fuel licenses”.

Frances Davies, a 20 year old cafe worker from Norwich marching today, said:

 “I’m taking action because I want to be able to go outside in the summer, I want to have a life, a career, and I want to grow old. All of that is at stake because our government chooses profit over life. I have lost faith in all other methods of protest, I’ve tried everything else, signing petitions, going on marches, going on strike, and the head of the United Nations António Guterres said at COP 27 that we are ‘on the highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator’. What else can I do? I’ve been backed into a corner by the government. I can sit by and watch everything we’ve built fall apart, or I can resist.”

George Hibberd, 29, a former commercial airline pilot from Chichester marching in Brighton today said:

“We are here to show Brighton that we can do something about the climate crisis. It is terrifying, it is overwhelming but we have so much power together as a community. It is easy to feel alone and helpless in the face of the criminality and indifference of  our government and big businesses. But Just Stop Oil is proving how much we can achieve if we come together and take bold action. 

“We don’t enjoy disrupting ordinary people but for as long as the government refuses to listen to the world’s top climate bodies, and continues to licence new oil and gas, we have no choice but to peacefully resist.”

The government plans to issue up to 100 new North Sea oil and gas licenses – a move which is facing a legal challenge by campaign groups. The government is also facing a legal challenge over its approval of the UK’s first new coal mine for over 30 years, at Whitehaven in Cumbria [4].

Climate scientists have warned that the granting of new fossil fuel licenses is incompatible with staying within 1.5C of global warming – a temperature increase widely understood to be disastrous for humanity [5].

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, recently warned the World Economic Forum: “Today, fossil fuel producers and their enablers are still racing to expand production, knowing full well that this business model is inconsistent with human survival. Now, this insanity belongs in science-fiction, yet we know the ecosystem meltdown is cold, hard scientific fact.” [6]

Today’s slow marches follow a campaign of disruptive action by Just Stop Oil in the final months of 2022, with daily roadblocks in the centre of London in October, the repeated closure of the M25 in November when Just Stop Oil supporters climbed the overhead gantries, and a series of slow-marches in the capital in December. 

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign launched on the 14th February 2022, there have been over 2,000 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison, many without trial. There are currently seven Just Stop Oil supporters and one Insulate Britain supporter in prison whilst awaiting trial or serving sentences for actions taken with the campaigns.

Just Stop Oil is hosting talks for members of the public in the three locations in the coming week entitled “Our Responsibilities at This Time” [7]


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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] Just Stop Oil stages go slow marches in London, Sheffield and Manchester 

[3] Rishi Sunak plans to crack down on ‘go slow’ marches: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/09/rishi-sunak-plans-crack-down-go-slow-protests-just-stop-oil

[4] Government faces legal challenges over its plans to award 100 new UK oil and gas licenses and its approval of a new coal mine: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/12/uk-ministers-face-legal-challenge-over-north-sea-oil-and-gas-licences

[5] New fossil fuels incompatible with 1.5C warming: https://www.carbonbrief.org/new-fossil-fuels-incompatible-with-1-5c-goal-comprehensive-analysis-finds/.

[6] UN Secretary General says that today, fossil fuel producers and their enablers are still racing to expand production, knowing full well that this business model is inconsistent with human survival: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2023-01-18/secretary-generals-remarks-the-world-economic-forum

[7] Just Stop Oil talks: 
Liverpool: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/our-responsibilities-at-this-time-liverpool-tickets-522879987117?aff=ebdsoporgprofile
Norwich: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/our-responsibilities-at-this-time-norwich-tickets-523032413027?aff=ebdsoporgprofile
Brighton: Thursday 23rd February from 7pm to 9pm at the Brighton Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF.