“We’ve got to tackle this now!” – Just Stop Oil disrupt rugby final

Two Just Stop Oil supporters have disrupted the Gallagher Premiership Rugby final. They are demanding a halt to any new licences for oil, gas and coal projects in the UK. [1]

At around 3:25pm two Just Stop Oil supporters stormed the pitch in a cloud of orange powder paint at Twickenham, where the Saracens are facing off against the Sale Sharks.

One of the men taking action this afternoon is Dr Patrick Hart, 37, a GP from Bristol, who said:

“I am doing this because it’s my duty as a doctor. The climate crisis is the greatest health crisis humanity has ever faced. People are dying now and more will die every day unless we stop new oil, gas and coal.”

“In the same way the tobacco companies lied to us that tobacco was safe, the scrum of fossil fuel companies and corrupt politicians have been lying to us. They are keeping us addicted to fossil fuels, even though they know it’s killing us. I am not prepared to let them get away with mass murder. We are ordinary people. We are the doctors and nurses who care for you when you are sick. I call on everyone to come and join us in the streets and be on the right side of history.”

Another of those taking action this afternoon, Sam Johnson, 40, a construction worker from Essex, said:

“I took action today simply because we have run out of time. We’ve got to tackle this now. We have known for longer than I’ve been alive what would happen if we kept burning fossils fuels and now we are seeing this catastrophe unfold in real time. The whole world knows that licensing new fossil fuel projects in 2023 will cause the deaths of millions of people.”

“We are at the greatest crossroads humanity has ever faced and unless we act now we will lose everything we have ever cared about. I have a Nephew who is 7 years old, who I love to bits, and as long as I have breath in my lungs I will fight to protect his future.”

Todays action occurs against a back-drop of more extreme weather events, as increasingly greater carbon concentrations in the atmosphere push us closer to irreversible tipping points, threatening to spin the balance of humanities’ life supports systems out of control.

Record temperatures have been recorded today in Chad, hitting 48C. In Pakistan, a searing heatwave is destroying lives, with the temperature hitting 48.5C in places. [2][3]

In New Zealand, Auckland has had 91% of its annual average rainfall in just five months, whilst in Tunisia, an ongoing drought is seeing crops fail, resulting in bread rationing and long queues at bakeries. [4][5]

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan at least 13 people have been killed and dozens injured in torrential rains and flash floods that have struck a dozen provinces. [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. [7][8]

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] https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1074223-searing-heatwave-grips-plains-of-sindh
[3] https://twitter.com/extremetemps/status/1661723289306411009
[4] https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/132154883/auckland-has-had-91-of-its-annual-rainfall–and-its-not-even-june
[6] https://www.rferl.org/a/afghanistan-flooding-humanitarian-aid/32429245.html
[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/