Just Stop Oil supporters slow cycling to demand an end to new oil, gas and coal 

Just Stop Oil supporters are approaching the end of their seventh straight week of daily action in the capital to demand that the UK Government halt all licences and consents for new oil, gas and coal projects. [1]

At around 8am, nine supporters began slow cycling around Marble Arch and down Park Lane. At the same time, another two groups of supporters began slow-marching on the A2 at Blackheath and at Chiswick roundabout. 36 supporters were on the road in total. Tensions were high at Gunnersbury Avenue, with one driver stepping out their vehicle to smash the phone of someone filming. Public Order Act (Section 12) notices were placed on the two marches and all three groups were forced off the road by 8:55am. Further marches and slow cycles are expected later this morning. Just Stop Oil has been marching at least 6 days a week since the 24th April.

One of those on the road this morning, Peter Meredith, a father of three, from Southwark said:

“When our criminal Prime Minister claims that we need new oil and gas projects for energy security, he is lying to you. The reason he is lying is because both he and his party have been bought by the fossil fuel lobby. The Conservatives accepted £3.5 million in legalised bribes from fossil fuel interests last year.”

“New oil, gas (and coal) licences do nothing for the UK’s energy security because it takes years to get new production online. Also new UK production will not lower bills because any oil and gas generated from them will be sold by private companies on the international market, to enrich billionaires.”

“Renewables are cheaper, faster to roll out, more resilient and better in every way. They will ensure an infinite resource of clean, basically free energy, that will actually cut everyone’s bills, as well as provide sustainable jobs long into the future. When they say we don’t have the technology to do this, THEY ARE LYING TO YOU.”

Another of those on the road this morning, Kate Logan, 38, a legal adviser and mum of two from Walthamstow, said:

“I wish I didn’t have to be here, but knowing what is happening to people on the frontlines of climate breakdown and to my children’s future, I can’t stand by. Our government is betraying us all and I’m here to make my voice heard in demanding they stop new oil, gas and coal.”

“I’m a qualified lawyer, so I have always respected and understood the legal system, in the belief it was there to protect people and serve justice. But what’s happening now is tantamount to state sponsored genocide; the legal system is protecting oil company profits before people. I didn’t become a lawyer to be complicit in such a system. It’s scary taking action in this way, disrupting people’s lives and putting our personal safety at risk. But we’ve tried everything else and we are running out of time. The future we are headed for if we don’t change course fast is much scarier than this.”

This morning’s marches come as the UK government is facing a legal challenge to its oil drilling plans after a judge granted permission for a judicial review. A scheme to allow a drilling project on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Surrey is being challenged in the High Court (Royal Courts of Justice) today. Good Law Project is supporting the action being brought by the local council and campaign group, Protect Dunsfold, against the Government which gave the project the green light. [2]

Meanwhile, a new study published yesterday has found that more than 90% of global net-zero pledges from nations are considered “low confidence”, meaning they are unlikely to be delivered in full or on time. Lead researcher Professor Joeri Rogelj, director of research for the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, said: “most countries do not provide high confidence that they will deliver on their commitments. The world is still on a high-risk climate track, and we are far from delivering a safe climate future.” [3]

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. Ordinary people must come together to resist this criminal government and hold them to account for their genocidal policies. [4][5]

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://envirotecmagazine.com/2023/06/06/fossil-fuel-drilling-scheme-faces-high-court-challenge/

[3] https://www.edie.net/researchers-have-little-confidence-that-national-net-zero-targets-will-be-met/

[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/