Just Stop Oil supporters slow march through Cambridge and Reading ahead of sustained campaign in London from April 24 

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

This morning around 35 Just Stop Oil supporters marched from Christ’s Pieces Park in Cambridge through shopping precincts and the town centre, holding banners and handing out leaflets. In the last few minutes another march has set off through Reading Town Centre. 

Slow marches are a highly disruptive but completely legal form of protest. Those taking part are asking that the government heed the advice of the International Energy Agency, the United Nations and energy experts and cease development of new oil and gas projects immediately. [2][3][4]

Jamie, who took part in a slow march in Reading, said:
“In the 1980s the Conservative government closed the coal mines, deeming them too expensive to run and plunging the masses into poverty. Now, in a time of soaring energy bills, there is a new coal mine being forced upon us. This is the actions of a greed driven genocidal government and we in Just Stop Oil will do everything nonviolently possible to stand in their way. 

“It’s time to choose sides, between those who want to ensure a future for the next generation and those who have decided to pursue its destruction.”

Bill Yates, who also took part in the Reading slow march and is eighty years old, said:
“As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the UK has historically contributed disproportionately to greenhouse gas emissions and should therefore immediately stop adding to the catastrophic consequences of climate change, which are already being felt across the world.

“I make my protest on behalf of my own six grandchildren, and all the grandchildren on the planet.”

Christiane, a 53 year old Archaeological Project Manager from Cambridge also attending the march there, said:
“I’m really worried. East Anglia is still officially in a drought because of an incredibly dry winter. We saw harvest failures and wild-fires last year. What’s going to happen this year? 

“We need to stop new oil and gas and invest in cheaper renewables instead, as well as public transport and flood protection. Instead our criminal Government keeps subsidising oil and gas companies to the tune of £236m a week, even though they are making record profits. Where’s the justice in that when we can’t afford our bills?”

The regional marches come just over a week ahead of Just Stop Oil’s plans for ongoing disruption in central London beginning on Monday April 24th. The series of slow marches will follow hot on the tail of the Extinction Rebellion led plans to surround the Houses of Parliament from April 21st, in which Just Stop Oil is a participant. [5] 

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign began on April 1st 2022, there have been over 2,000 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison, many without trial. There are currently two Just Stop Oil supporters in prison awaiting sentencing for actions taken with the campaign.

We stand with these political prisoners, with the more than 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. 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. [6] [7]

In moments of emergency, we must be brave, we must stand for good over evil, life over death, right over wrong. We cannot stand by and watch while our rights and freedoms and everything we love is being destroyed. It’s time to pick a side. Either you are actively supporting civil resistance, fighting for life, or you are complicit with genocide.

Join us in civil resistance on a slow march around the streets of London from April 24th. [8] 


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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] No new oil, gas or coal development if world is to reach net zero by 2050, says world energy body: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/18/no-new-investment-in-fossil-fuels-demands-top-energy-economist

[3] Climate change: More fossil fuel investment, just ‘delusional’, warns Guterres: https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/06/1120372

[4] 700 experts from universities and research bodies have sent a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urging him to end approvals for all new oil and gas developments. https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/academics-ipcc-ed-miliband-government-antonio-guterres-b2309810.html

[5] https://extinctionrebellion.uk/

[6] 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 more than 2,000 held for over a year. Black people are disproportionately remanded more than white people, despite being less likely to be sent to prison and more likely to be acquitted at trial.

[7] 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. https://www.globalwitness.org/en/press-releases/deadly-decade-land-and-environmental-activists-killing-every-two-days/

[8] Sign up to join Just Stop Oil supporters on a slow march in London from April 24th:  https://juststopoil.org/