Just Stop Oil forcibly removed from the Home Affairs Committee whilst eight arrested outside parliament

Just Stop Oil supporters have been forcibly removed from the Houses of Parliament where they were attending the Home Affairs Committee inquiry into the policing of public protests during the Coronation. Just Stop Oil is demanding an end to all new oil, gas and coal projects in the UK. [1]

At around 10:30 am, five of the 19 Just Stop Oil supporters, who were wrongfully arrested on the 6th May, were ejected from the Home Affairs Committee inquiry after one of them attempted to speak. The supporters were wearing the same t-shirts they wore on Coronation Day, which prompted the police to arrest them for conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. 

Dr Kush Naker, 33, a doctor of infectious diseases from London, began to read their prepared statement: “We, as supporters of Just Stop Oil, are here today because our democracy is under threat…” however, he was unable to finish before all five were forcibly removed from the committee. One Just Stop Oil supporter could be heard saying “we should not have been arrested for wearing t-shirts,” as she was ejected from the hearing.

Meanwhile, outside Parliament, eight supporters of Just Stop Oil were being arrested for peacefully marching in Parliament Square after a section 12 public order notice was issued earlier.

The Home Affairs committee has invited evidence from policing representatives, the anti-monarchy group Republic and human rights lawyer Adam Wagner. However, no invite has been extended to Just Stop Oil, despite supporters of the campaign making up over a third of those wrongfully arrested on Coronation Day. 

Just Stop Oil has presented a written submission of evidence about the day’s events that can be read here. The committee has responded to advise it will ‘not be formally accepting written evidence.’ [2]

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said:

“This is a continuation of the silencing of legitimate dissent we saw at the Coronation. The Metropolitan Police baselessly arrested doctors, lecturers, students and electricians, simply for possessing flags and t-shirts. This is clearly politically motivated and represents a massive overreach by the police. No evidence has been provided and now those wrongfully arrested are being prevented from giving evidence to the very committee that has been organised to assess the policing during the coronation.”

“The world is watching in horror at what has become of our once proud British democracy. This government, against all available scientific information, is pursuing an agenda of opening new oil, gas and coal projects, during a climate crisis that threatens the lives of hundreds of millions of people. This silencing of those opposed to these genocidal policies is not going unnoticed by the young, who will be overseeing the climate trials of the future. Those who facilitated and co-operated with these criminal acts will be held to account for the crime of genocide.” 

Many of the 19 arrested on 6th May were arrested initially on the grounds of breach of the peace and later rearrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. One supporter was told by the arresting officer that he was in breach of the peace because he was part of a group that had previously engaged in disruptive protests. One supporter who challenged a police officer about being arrested for wearing a t-shirt was told that “public nuisance is anything the police say it is”.

Stories circulating in the media have implied that Just Stop Oil supporters were planning a disruptive action that may have involved paint, rape alarms or locking on. No supporters were found to be carrying paint, rape alarms or locking on equipment. These accusations first appeared in the Mail on Sunday which cited ‘senior security sources’ however provided no evidence. It is noted that the head of media at the Metropolitan police was a former crime reporter at the Daily Mail. [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 the UK’s 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. Normal people must come together to resist these criminal governments and hold them to account for their genocidal policies. [5][6]

Just Stop Oil is calling on everyone to get off the sidelines and join in civil resistance against new oil, gas and coal.

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 makes a meaningful statement halting new fossil fuel projects in the UK. 

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] Just Stop Oil Submission to Home Affairs Commitee.pdf

[3] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12003081/Extremists-vile-plot-spook-Kings-horses-rape-alarms-cause-injuries-deaths.html

[4] https://pressgazette.co.uk/news/daily-mails-ex-crime-reporter-chris-greenwood-to-head-up-met-police-press-team/

[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/