Just Stop Oil supporters continue marching in accordance with fundamental human rights, as ‘deeply troubling’ bill comes into law

Supporters of Just Stop Oil are once again peacefully marching through the streets of central London today. They will halt their campaign the moment the government makes a meaningful statement to end licensing and consents for any new fossil fuel projects in the UK. [1]

From around 10:00am, 55 Just Stop Oil supporters began marching from The Shell Centre on London’s South Bank aiming for Parliament Square. Around 15 minutes later a Section 12 public order notice was issued, ordering protesters off the road. Just Stop Oil supporters have been slow marching in the heart of power every day since the 24th April.

These supporters are marching in accordance with fundamental human rights that are protected under international law. Last week, the Government laid before Parliament the third piece of legislation in two years which aims to restrict protest. The public order regulations will reintroduce amendments that were voted out of the Public Order Bill, by the House of Lords. This will redefine ‘serious disruption’ to mean anything that is ‘more than minor hindrance’ to daily activities. [2]

In addition, the Public Order Bill will come into force today. The new anti-protest legislation was described by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, as “deeply troubling” 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.” [3] [4]

Yesterday, in the wake of increasingly inflammatory language from politicians and right-wing media personalities, a Just Stop Oil supporter was knocked down by a vehicle during a march. [5]

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said:

“Facism rarely arrives in a flurry of goose-stepping. It arrives wearing a sharp suit with promises of restoring law and order, while tolerating rampant corruption, suppressing human rights and blaming scapegoats for all societal problems. The ‘Public Order’ act is the latest in a string of increasingly repressive laws. It enables police to make any protest illegal, before it has even happened! 

We must all resist these illegitimate laws and assert our centuries old right to march and protest. This government is intent on the mass murder of hundreds of millions of people, for the sake of private profit. They will be held to account for crimes against humanity.” 

One of those taking action today, Sarah Webb, 51, a special educational needs tutor from Wallingford, said:

“The government and fossil fuel industry are setting fire to your home. Are you really going to sit back and let them kill your children? I am marching to stop disruption, because it’s pretty disruptive when your house is on fire, or flooded.”

“With chaotic weather, how will farmers grow our crops? What will happen to society when there isn’t enough food to go around?”

“If you agree that this criminal government should not issue over 100 new oil & gas licences, then you need to get onto the streets right now, head to JustStopOil.org to sign up, or join us at parliament square, tomorrow at 7am.”

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 care about, something that is being imposed on us by a few, who only seek to enrich themselves. [6][7]

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. [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.

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.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/police-to-get-power-to-break-up-slow-walking-climate-protests-braverman-says/ar-AA1ar4FX

[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] https://twitter.com/JustStop_Oil/status/1653340503876706304?s=20

[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 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/

[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] Excluding May 6th.