Just Stop Oil supporters continue to assert their right to march and protest

Just Stop Oil supporters are now in their third week of marching in central London every day to demand an end to any new fossil fuel projects in the UK. [1]

At 8 am, around 32 Just Stop Oil supporters began marching from Queen Victoria Street near Mansion House tube station. Just Stop Oil supporters have been marching in the capital, every day since the 24th of April. Police are on scene and currently threatening to impose conditions under the public order act (section 12) in a bid to stifle legitimate dissent. 

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said:

“The Public Order Bill and specifically Section 12 notices are being used to remove the British public’s right to peacefully oppose government policies that threaten the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Marching has been an integral means of bringing about social change for centuries, be it for those seeking universal suffrage, those seeking to gain equality, or those seeking to make transport accessible for disabled people.”  

The government continues to face criticism in the wake of the wrongful arrests of dozens of peaceful protestors during the coronation, including 19 Just Stop Oil supporters and two independent journalists. No Just Stop Oil supporters have been charged, but some have been released ‘under investigation’ meaning media organisations are unwilling to interview them. This has the effect of silencing dissent.

One of those taking action this morning, Jonathan Kennedy, 43, an engineer and father of two, said:

“I’m a parent of two young children, three and six. Our government, right now, is actively increasing the climate related suffering they are going to experience. New oil and gas licences at this point in history are an act of aggression against our children’s generation.”

“In ten years’ time my children will be teenagers. They will ask me – ‘How was it possible that new oil sites were being opened when everyone knew what it meant for humanity? What were you doing?’ This is why I am marching today; to be on the right side of history, and to have an answer when my children ask me what I was doing to help. The forest fires, the flooding, the crop failures, the record temperatures are all happening RIGHT NOW, and it’s only getting worse.”

Another of those taking action today, Virginia Barret, 52, a hospital consultant from East Grinstead, said: 

“I live near an oil well in a National Park. It used to be allowed to release ten tonnes of methane per day into the atmosphere. That is enough methane to fill 142 double decker buses. This ten tonne limit was being exceeded, so locals complained to the relevant authorities. Would you like to guess what they did? They removed the daily limit! They are now allowed to release any amount per day.” 

“In the hospital where I work, we operate under the tenet of ‘first do no harm’ – shame this does not apply to our government.”

It was recently reported that the Conservatives received £3.5 million from polluters, fossil fuel interests and climate deniers during 2022. The government continues to pay £236 million pounds a week, of taxpayers money, to oil companies. Last week BP announced first quarter profits of $5 billion in the first three months of the year, while it’s competitor Shell has been accused of a “profiteering bonanza” after it made record first-quarter profits of more than $9.6bn. [2][3][4]

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign launched on 14th February 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 serving three year 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. [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 at midday every Saturday, at Parliament Square until we win. 


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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.desmog.com/2023/03/30/conservatives-received-3-5-million-from-polluters-fossil-fuel-interests-and-climate-deniers-in-2022/


[4] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/may/02/bp-profits-energy-windfall-tax-oil-gas

[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/