“Politicians have failed for 50 years”- Just Stop Oil students march after damning report on government inaction

Just Stop Oil student supporters are marching in central London to demand that the UK Government halts all licences and consents for new oil, gas, and coal projects. This is the tenth straight week of marching in London to demand that the government takes basic steps to protect the public from climate collapse. [1]

At 8am, 47 Just Stop Oil supporters in four groups began marching in Kensington, Southwark, the City, and the West End. As one of the demographics most at risk to the detrimental effects of climate breakdown, this week is led by students who are demanding action to safeguard their future. 

A mini-march on Fleet Street was issued a section 12 notice and forced off the road by 8:15. A march on New Kent Road was moved off the road by police at 8:30, after they issued a section 12 notice. All teams were off the road by 9:20. Further marches are expected this morning. 

On Tuesday, 27 young people were arrested. Many of these were wrongfully arrested for simply sitting outside the headquarters of Total Energies in Canary Wharf, which had previously been painted by a small group in defiance of the company’s environmental and human rights abuses in the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. Many of those wrongfully arrested have subsequently been given bail conditions forbidding them from protesting ‘without police permission’, in breach of the human rights act.  

A Just Stop Oil Spokesperson said:

“The Climate Change Committee report reveals in graphic detail how broken our democracy is. The government is criminally disregarding its most fundamental duty of care to its citizens while the opposition is too cowardly to effectively challenge them.”

“The truth is that putting more carbon into the atmosphere in 2023 will bring about the wholesale destruction of ordered society. The IPCC itself has said that unless urgent action is taken, young people will face five times as many extreme events – such as heat stress, drought, poverty and hunger – as previous generations. These catastrophic impacts will combine to shorten their lives and they know it.

“New oil and gas is the greatest criminal act in human history and politicians who conspire to support it are complicit in mass murder. The next thousand generations’ very existence is dependent on what we do right now. Just Stop Oil is on the right side of history, which side will you be on?” [2]

One of those on the road this morning, Oliver Sworder, 20, who is studying Biology at Oxford University, said:

“I’ve spent two years studying biology and the collapse of the biosphere; every single lecture points to the issue, and the first easy, obvious solution: stopping any new oil, gas and coal. I’ve spent so long supporting Just Stop Oil from afar, thinking ‘they’re doing good things, I should do that one day’. But there’s no time left, so I’m finally taking action.

“If you think that a few students blocking a road for a few minutes is an inconvenience, wake up. Given the state of the situation, which calls for so much more, walking on a road is the least anyone can do.”

Another taking action with Just Stop Oil, Ben Johnson, 26, a PhD Student from Oxfordshire, said:

“I’m here because I don’t want my mum to go hungry. When climate collapse leads to food shortages, we will be panic buying like in the pandemic. My mum, in her wheelchair, won’t be able to get to the supermarket shelves before they are cleared in front of her.”

“I’m also here because politicians have failed for 50 years to stop the progression of the climate emergency. In the face of this, I don’t see many options other than resistance. We can’t vote our way out of climate breakdown.”

“The science is clear. We cannot invest in new fossil fuel projects and avoid climate breakdown. This is an emergency on a scale humanity has never before seen: it requires an emergency response.” 

Just Stop Oil supporters have completed up to seven marches a day, six days a week since the 24th April. Over 600 ordinary people from all over the UK have taken part. Including arrests at the Coronation and cultural and sporting events there have been around 217 arrests this year over 60 people have been charged with various offences including failure to comply with Public Order Act (section 12) conditions. 

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. [3]

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 the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. 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] https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/2023-progress-report-to-parliament/

[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukhsa-and-ons-release-estimates-of-excess-deaths-during-summer-of-2022