Just Stop Oil supporters march as floods leave hundreds of thousands homeless in Italy and Somalia

Just Stop Oil supporters are out once again marching in central London this morning to demand an end to all new oil, gas and coal projects in the UK. Just Stop Oil supporters have been marching every day since the 24th of April. [1]

At around 8:00am, 24 Just Stop Oil supporters began marching on Tower Hill in the City of London. Police were on scene before the march began and by 8:17 had issued a Public Order Act (Section 12) notice. The marchers were forced off the road by 8:30 after walking a couple of hundred metres towards Tower Bridge. A further march is expected later this morning. 

One of those taking action this morning, Sasha Stone, 21, a student and bartender, from Edinburgh, said:

“As a student, I feel this sense of hopelessness looking into the future. How can we continue on this path? The government has been bought by oil and gas companies and is making decisions which will inevitably lead to mass destruction, famine, and death for the many ordinary people in this country and around the world.”

“It is not an exaggeration to say that as a species we are playing with fire. Civilisations have fallen before and we are approaching a great precipice, a painful point of no return. We must come together and fight for a fairer, sustainable future for all.”

Another of those taking action this morning, Imogen Robertson, 22, a student from Stirling, said:

“I am marching with Just Stop Oil because I understand the urgency of the situation. I have two much younger siblings, and so the unpredictability of the future weighs on me heavily. Because of this, I cannot and will not be complacent in the face of inaction by our government.”

“Now is the time to make it clear that we, the people of this country, will not be complicit with this criminal government. We have read the science and can see the devastating effects of oil and gas first-hand, as things spin out of control, with more and more extreme weather and the inevitable crop failure. History tells us we need to get on the streets and make our voices heard.”

These marches occur against a backdrop of yet more extreme weather events. Devastating floods in Italy have left thousands homeless and killed nine, after heavy storms caused 21 rivers to burst their banks- bringing landslides and causing entire towns to be submerged. In Somalia a quarter of a million people have had to be evacuated from their homes after the Shabelle River burst its banks, submerging the town of Beledweyne, even as the country faces its most severe drought in 40 years. [2][3][4]

Meanwhile, researchers from the World Meteorological Association confirmed yesterday that the world is likely to pass the 1.5 degree threshold (enshrined in law at the 2015 Paris agreement) before 2027. Early this year, the UK Met office warned this could happen as soon as 2024 due to a shift to an El Niño weather pattern at the back end of 2023. [5][6]

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 this criminal government 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. 

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.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/17/italy-storms-people-dead-thousands-evacuated-emlia-romagna

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/17/city-underwater-quarter-of-million-somalians-flee-homes-floods?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/apr/27/human-driven-climate-crisis-fuelling-horn-of-africa-drought-study

[5] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-65602293

[6] https://www.newscientist.com/article/2354672-strong-el-nino-could-make-2024-the-first-year-we-pass-1-5c-of-warming/

[7] 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/

[8] 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/