Chris Packham at Just Stop Oil march: “If it isn’t a disruptive protest it doesn’t get news”

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

At 8am, 37 supporters in three groups started marching slowly in the West End, Maida Vale and Tottenham. Police issued Public Order Act (Section 12) notices on the largest of the marches on the Strand by 8:30am after it had progressed around 200 yards. Two mini-marches of four people each, finished by 9:15am. No arrests have been made. Further marches are expected later this morning.

Observing the march at the Strand and interviewing Just Stop Oil supporters this morning, was acclaimed naturalist and ‘Springwatch’ presenter Chris Packham, who is filming a documentary on nonviolent direct action. Talking to LBC, he was overheard saying that “If it isn’t a disruptive protest it doesn’t get news.”

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

One of those taking action this morning, Margaret Reid, 52, a former museum professional from Cumbria said:

“I should not have to be on the streets. None of us should. How is it that despite horrific daily evidence of more and more extreme weather events, crop failure and the resulting societal unrest, this genocidal government is persisting in its greedy pursuit of new oil and gas licences?” 

“Do we have to wait until all our supermarket shelves are empty, our infrastructure is collapsing and our families are dying from extreme heat before we do something? One day our children will ask us ‘what did you do’ to avert this crisis and we better be prepared to give them a good answer. Join us in Parliament Square tomorrow from midday.”

Another of those taking action this morning Catherine Rennie-Nash, a retired teacher and grandmother from Kendal, said:

“Globally we’re seeing wildfires, floods, storms and drought on unprecedented scales. What do we have to do to get our government to stop signing our death warrants, with its relentless pursuit of new oil, gas and coal? They are destroying everything we care about, and I refuse to be complicit.”

“I will remain in civil resistance for as long as it takes. I owe this to my grandchildren. It’s about time our government ministers grew-up and took a global lead in ending these unnecessary new fossil fuels projects. Until they do, I will be doing all I can to bring their genocidal activity to the attention of the wider population, marching in the same way those who have fought injustice have always done. Slowing people from going about their day is not fun, but then neither is the unnecessary starvation and death of hundreds of millions as a result of crop failure.”

Today’s marches occur against the backdrop of continuing corruption and criminality at the heart of the UK government. Desmog has revealed yesterday that EnQuest, an oil and gas company run by a major Tory donor, who has lobbied to maximise oil and gas exploration, has now been awarded licences to explore carbon capture and storage in the North sea. This is despite carbon capture being an unproven technology that is being pursued to enable companies to continue dumping carbon into the atmosphere, rather than achieving the necessary systemic shift towards renewable energy that is required. [3]

Meanwhile, in South Wales, coal is continuing to be extracted from Britain’s biggest open cast coal mine, despite its licence to operate having ended nine months ago. The council has so far failed to intervene in stopping the illegal extraction at the Ffos-y-Fran coal mine near Merthyr Tydfil. [4]

This continued dependence on obsolete fossil fuel technologies, is despite the Climate Change Committee advising that the net-zero transition can deliver between 135,000 and 725,000 net new jobs in low-carbon sectors. The committee is warning that the UK faces a ‘risk to competitiveness’ if the government doesn’t begin to support the sector. [5]

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. [6][7]

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.




[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.

[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.