Just Stop Oil supporters continue to march to demand an end to new oil and gas

Just Stop Oil supporters are continuing to march through the streets of central London today, but say that they will stop their campaign the moment the government halts licensing any new fossil fuel projects in the UK. [1]

55 Just Stop Oil supporters began marching from Regent Street and Parliament Square, at 7:30am, with further marches expected this morning. Just Stop Oil supporters have been slow marching in the heart of power every day since the 24th April. 

Yesterday saw police, under pressure from the Home Secretary to crack down on ‘slow-walking’ protests, issuing Public Order Act (S12) notices to remove Just Stop Oil supporters from the roads. 

On Friday, the Home Secretary introduced new legislation to parliament that, if passed, will grant police the power to stop people from exercising their legitimate right to protest. The new secondary legislation will support the Public Order Bill which is expected to take effect on May 3rd. [2][3]

The new anti-protest legislation was described by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, as “deeply troubling legislation” as it “imposes unnecessary and disproportionate criminal sanctions on people organising or taking part in peaceful protests,” 

He appealed to the UK Government to reverse the legislation “as soon as feasible”. [4]

One of those taking action today, Sarah Benn, 56, a former NHS GP of 32 years, from Birmingham, said:

“As a doctor I have dealt with many emergencies, and the first thing you do in that situation is to urgently remove what is causing or worsening the situation. We face a climate and ecological emergency, yet our government sits on its hands and mouths platitudes- instead of taking the no-brainer first step of ending new fossil fuel licences.” 

“My youngest starts GCSEs this week but instead of being home supporting and encouraging him, I’m here slow-marching with Just Stop Oil – because I’m terrified for him. Good exam grades are pointless in the face of uncontrollable flooding and wildfires, crop failures, food shortages, the collapse of the NHS and everything we love.”

Another of those taking action today Noah Crane, 18, an A-Level student from Norfolk, said:

“We have seen time and again that words are not sufficient to bring about necessary social change. The people who are both the most powerful and the most greedy in the world are making billions from selling our futures; they aren’t going to stop just because we ask nicely. We have to demand it.”

“If, throughout all of human history, there has ever been a time to take action, it is now.”

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign began on April 1st 2022, there have been over 2,100 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison, many without trial. There are currently two Just Stop Oil supporters and four Insulate Britain supporters serving prison sentences for resisting new oil, gas and coal.

We stand with these political prisoners, 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. [5][6]

In moments of emergency, we must stand up and be brave, we must stand up for good over evil, life over death, right over wrong. Just Stop Oil is calling on everyone to pick a side. We need everyone to get off the sidelines and join in civil resistance against new oil and gas.

The time is now. Join us and slow march while you still can. Our indefinite campaign of civil resistance is underway and will not end until our government ends new oil, gas and coal.

Join Just Stop Oil on a slow march from 7am every weekday and midday every Saturday, at Parliament Square until we win. [7]

ENDS

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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.

Just Stop Oil ‘Blue Lights’ policy: our policy is, and has always been, to move out of the way for emergency vehicles with siren sounding and ‘blue lights’ on.

[2]  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-acts-to-stop-highly-disruptive-slow-walking-tactics

[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-order-bill-overarching-documents/public-order-bill-factsheet

[4] https://www.globalissues.org/news/2023/04/27/33657

[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, with 1,800 people in prison without trial for at least a year. https://www.fairtrials.org/articles/news/highest-number-of-people-on-remand-in-england-and-wales-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. https://www.globalwitness.org/en/press-releases/deadly-decade-land-and-environmental-activists-killing-every-two-days/

[7] Excluding May 6th.