“I’m taking action for all children everywhere” – Just Stop Oil begin 11th week of slow marches as Sunak’s climate failings stack up

Just Stop Oil supporters have entered their eleventh consecutive week of slow marching today. They are demanding that the government halts all new licences and consents for oil, gas and coal projects in the UK. Over the weekend, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was rocked by a series of blows to his credibility after a series of failings on climate policy.

A group of 34 Just Stop Oil Supporters began marching in Ealing, Hammersmith, Elephant and Castle, Bayswater, and Victoria. 19 people entered the road in Hangar Lane, West London this morning at 08:13am. They began marching on this arterial road, impacting traffic on the A406 and A40. Police issued a section 12 and they were off the road by 8:40. Reverend Bill White was arrested for peacefully marching in the road with a sign that said ‘Act out of Love’ on King Street in Hammersmith at 8:37. The march in Bayswater was issued a section 12 notice and was off the road after 20 minutes. All other marches were off the road by 9:25. Further marches are expected this morning. [1]

Reverend Bill White, 68, a priest and grandfather from Macclesfield who was arrested this morning, said:

“The situation we’re in demands no new oil, gas or coal. It’s not fair that others are suffering and dying, because of our addiction to burning oil.”

“Our disgraced government can’t get this right without our help. They hear the message of the oil industry loud and clear, now they need to hear the voices of ordinary people, your voice. To protect our loved ones we must step off the sidelines and demand change.”

“We can win this, come and join us, next Saturday, 12 noon, Parliament Square.”

For his New Statesman column, Andrew Marr yesterday railed against the Conservative government and demanded a withdrawal from oil, gas and coal, saying: “we’re not thinking nearly enough about climate change… we can no longer say to other countries: stop using fossil fuels, stop going into gas, stop going into oil, stop building coal-fired power stations – we can’t do that, because we’re doing so little ourselves.” [2] [3]

Environment Minister Zak Goldsmith abruptly left his cabinet role on Friday, citing that the UK “has withdrawn our leadership on climate and nature”, adding that Sunak was “uninterested” in the environment. To cap it all off, revelations that Rishi Sunak is failing to loosen the planning regulations that prevent onshore wind farms in the UK have caused major rumblings in the Tory party. [4] [5]

Zoe Cohen, 53, a self-employed mum from Warrington was marching with Just Stop Oil today. She said:

“I’m taking action for all children everywhere. For my daughter and for my three-year-old niece. She’s so little that she has no idea the world she has been born into, what awaits her, and how the Government is actively pursuing policies of new oil and gas that will shorten her life expectancy and worsen her quality of life. I wonder if she marched with me whether the police would arrest her too?”

After 10:00am, Just Stop Oil supporters began another road of marches in Barbican, Islington, The Strand, Knightsbridge, and Kensington. Two more marchers were arrested. All marches were removed from the road by 12:10 by police, with a total of ten Section 12 orders being issued today by the Metropolitan Police.

At Baron’s Court, a frustrated driver forced his car through the march before stopping his car out in the middle of the road to jump put and remonstrate with the marchers. 

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 225 arrests this year.

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign launched on 14th February 2022, there have been over 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 in the longest sentences for peaceful climate action in British history.

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. Join us on a march at Parliament Square at midday on Saturday, or sign up for action at juststopoil.org.


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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.youtube.com/watch?v=uUQ8c0YEmDM

[3] https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2023/06/labour-green-energy-revolution-promises-andrew-marr

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2023/jun/30/zac-goldsmith-resigns-accusing-government-of-apathy-over-environment

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/02/sunak-u-turn-on-wind-farms-in-england-draws-wrath-of-green-tories?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other