Just Stop Oil march in support of rugby disruptors

Just Stop Oil supporters are commencing their sixth week of marching every day in central London. The supporters are demanding a meaningful statement from the government that they will halt licences and consents for all new oil, gas and coal projects in the UK. [1]

Over 81 Just Stop Oil supporters are taking action this morning. At 10:00am two marches took place in Islington with 31 supporters marching down Upper Street whilst another 41 supporters began marching down Holloway Road. Meanwhile, At Wimbledon Magistrates court 9 Just Stop Oil supporters walked slowly outside the courthouse, disrupting traffic. 

The supporters were acting in solidarity with Dr Patrick Hart and Sam Johnson, who appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates court this morning, after disrupting the Rugby Premiership final on Saturday. The pair were released on court bail and ordered not to carry powder paint and or go within the M25.

Police issued Public Order Act (Section 12) notices on the Holloway Road march by 10:50, moving the team off the road. No arrests have been made. Further marches have commenced on Oxford Street and the Strand.

Just Stop Oil has been marching every day since April 24th. 

One of those taking action this morning, Lewis Sleeman, 45, a small business owner from Exeter, said:

“I’m slow marching with Just Stop Oil because new oil and gas licences are a death sentence for millions of the most vulnerable people in the world, and for our futures. Lives can be saved by preventing new oil and gas from being extracted, which is why I’m calling on the government to change course now.”

“Renewables are now far cheaper than fossil fuels, so quickly moving to renewable energy will help reduce the cost of ordinary people’s bills. I don’t want my young family to have to live with constant droughts, food shortages, floods and chaos, so it’s on everyone to join us in Parliament Square every Saturday at 12pm to make a difference and be on the right side of history.”

Another of those taking action this morning Bill Roberts, 66, a music teacher from Gloucestershire, said:

“Taking action in peaceful civil disobedience is the only sane response to this government’s madness in ignoring the increasingly dire warnings from the world’s scientists, the United Nations and International Energy Agency. Making the rapid changes we need is far from simple or easy, but the government is taking us in the wrong direction by opening up new oil and gas fields.”

“As a citizen I’m doing all I can in my own lifestyle and consumer choices. But that simply isn’t enough. The government is failing to act, and politicians and the media are shooting the messenger instead of acting on the message.”

Today’s marches come in the wake of confirmation by the Labour party yesterday that it will block all new domestic oil and gas developments, if it wins power. This policy is in line with all major UK political parties apart from the Conservatives, as well as the Scottish and Welsh governments. Just Stop Oil’s demand is now at the forefront of mainstream UK political discourse and will be a key issue in the upcoming general election. [2]

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign launched on 14th February 2022, there have been 2,200 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.


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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/politics/2023/may/28/labour-confirms-plans-to-block-all-new-north-sea-oil-and-gas-projects

[3] 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/

[4] 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/