Just Stop Oil Students paint Total Energies HQ in resistance to Ugandan pipeline atrocities

Just Stop Oil supporters, acting in solidarity with ‘Students Against EACOP’ have painted the UK headquarters of Total Energies orange and black, in resistance to the companies’ continued participation in human rights violations, in the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The Just Stop Oil supporters are demanding an end to new oil, gas and coal projects in the UK, and Students Against EACOP are demanding an immediate suspension of the destructive pipeline in Uganda. [1][2]

At around 8am four Just Stop Oil supporters entered the UK headquarters of Total Energies, the French multinational and majority shareholder in the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) at Canary Wharf. They sprayed the interior of the lobby with black paint from fire extinguishers. Meanwhile outside, four further supporters sprayed the exterior of the building with orange paint and then sat down to await arrest. They were joined by a group of about 60 students who gave speeches describing the crimes perpetrated against the people of Uganda by the EACOP project. 

Experts have described the project as a ‘carbon bomb’, which would release over 379 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere- 25 times the combined annual emissions of Uganda and Tanzania, the host nations. [3]

Todays’ action is in solidarity with Students Against EACOP, a group of Ugandan students fighting against the environmental devastation and human rights violations being wrought by the project. At the same time as this morning’s action, around 50 Students Against EACOP supporters are planning to march to the Ugandan parliament in Kampala to demand lawmakers take a clear position against the EACOP pipeline. They are anticipating brutal repression with many of the participants likely to face arrest and imprisonment.

A spokesperson for Students Against EACOP, said:

“Total Energies are involved in grave human rights violations. Thousands of people have lost their property and many have been evicted from their land with little or zero compensation. Those who have raised their voices to speak-out against the dangers of EACOP have been silenced. Journalists have been arrested, there have been incidents of forced disappearances and kidnappings.

“This pipeline is destroying national parks, lakes and rivers, causing massive ecological damage and displacing wildlife. We are calling on everyone in the UK to come out and resist Total Energies for its direct participation in these criminal acts. Many financial institutions have refused to underwrite this project and if Total Energies backs off, the government of Uganda would have a hard time funding this project, so we can win.”

One of those taking action at Canary Wharf this morning, Solveig, 27, a Doctor of Philosophy student at the University of Oxford, said:

“I believe that it is my duty to support the brave protesters of Students against EACOP, who are standing up to Total Energies as it destroys the lives of people for profit. The extractive colonialism executed by Total is not only making 100,000 people homeless, but it will exacerbate climate breakdown globally. I wish we could stop these atrocities through peaceful and quiet protest, but we can’t. This is why I have to stand up to Total and push for the de-funding of EACOP.”

In October, a group of over 50 Ugandan university students were brutalised after marching to deliver a petition on the pipeline to the European Union Embassy in Kampala. Nine students were imprisoned and are currently facing trial on a charge of common nuisance. [4][5]

The pipeline runs 900 miles from a biodiverse national park in Uganda, to a port in Tanzania. The project could lead to the displacement of over 100,000 people and outrage has been sparked at the multitude of human rights abuses being imposed on those in the path of construction. The EACOP pipeline will cut across several ecosystems, including forests, wetlands and rivers, displacing wildlife and destroying vital habitats that support rich biodiversity. The main backers of the multibillion dollar project are Total Energies and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). [6]

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. Just Stop Oil supporters Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker are serving three year prison sentences for resisting new oil, gas and coal. [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.

We need to resist new, oil gas and coal. Support students against EACOP. Find out how: Join a Zoom call on Sunday 2nd July at 3pm:



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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] Students against EACOP is a group of Ugandan student climate activists who are fighting to stop the East African Crude Oil Pipeline from devastating the environment and violating the human rights of locals. Join us in our fight to protect the future of our nation. https://studentsagainsteacop.org/

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/27/east-african-crude-oil-pipeline-carbon

[4] https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/uganda-9-students-arrested-for-supporting-eu-resolution-on-halting-controversial-eacop-project-over-human-rights-environmental-concerns/

[5] https://justfinanceinternational.org/2023/03/06/growing-number-of-human-rights-defenders-harassed-after-monitoring-ugandas-oil-pipeline-project/

[6] https://www.stopecocide.earth/guest-blog/the-east-african-crude-oil-pipeline-future-ecocide