Just Stop Oil slow marches cause major disruption on three of London’s bridges

Just Stop Oil supporters are continuing their fifth week marching in central London every day, to demand an end to all new oil, gas and coal projects in the UK. [1]

At 8am, 45 supporters in three groups started marching on three major routes taking them over Blackfriars Bridge, London Bridge and Tower Bridge. Tensions have been high this morning as the marches cause major delays for commuters. One man threw a supporter onto the ground and was subsequently arrested on Blackfriars bridge. A motorcyclist attempted to drive through the same procession, before police intervened. Elsewhere, there were a number of altercations as members of the public snatched banners and confronted Just Stop Oil supporters. Police issued Public Order Act (Section 12) notices on all three teams by 8:55am forcing them off the road. Three further marches are expected later this morning.

Just Stop Oil supporters have been marching every day since the 24th of April.

One of those taking action this morning, Barry Farrent, 66, a former football coach and referee from County Durham, who was involved with last year’s UEFA women’s football tournament, said:

“Society needs to wake up to the ongoing destruction of our home. These criminal politicians have us on the highway to climate hell with their foot on the accelerator. The UK has a proud history of civil resistance and bringing about world-wide change.”

“Disruptive civil resistance brought us the vote, livable working conditions, helped bring an end to slavery, helped secure rights for LGBTQ+ people and helped improve public transport for disabled people in the 90’s. The wish-bone will never replace the back-bone. Positive social change never came through asking nicely. We act now, not for ourselves, but for everyone suffering now from climate chaos and for future generations.”

Another of those taking action this morning Julia Mercer, 72, a grandmother, from Todmorden, said:

“I see the life-sustaining systems of our home disintegrating and I cannot bear it any more. I see hundreds of thousands displaced by flooding in the UK, Italy and Somalia, right now. I see apocalyptic wildfires roaring in Canada. People are dropping dead in India due to a combination of the heat and humidity.”

“We have a political elite in the UK entirely corrupted by money, licensing 100 new fossil fuel projects, against all advice, whilst we get constant lies from the billionaire-owned press. So I continue to take action with Just Stop Oil, because what else is there? How else am I to shout loud enough over the deadly drone of business-as-usual?”

Yesterday, another heat-wave warning was issued in Delhi, India. The City is currently experiencing temperatures of 46 degrees celsius coupled with high humidity. Exposure can be deadly, as the combination of high heat and humidity means sweat can’t evaporate to cool body temperatures. The extreme weather is not only having a detrimental effect on crops, but also on the agricultural labourers that make up the backbone of the Indian economy, as the sector employs more than 50% of the country’s total workforce. [2][3]

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. [3][4]

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.cbc.ca/news/world/india-heat-waves-extreme-labourers-1.6850498

[3] https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/heat-wave-warning-in-delhi-603357.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=Referral

[4] 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/

[5] 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/