Just Stop Oil supporters continue marching after it’s revealed that Sunak plans to ditch climate pledges

Just Stop Oil supporters are slow-marching in central London this morning. They are demanding that the government halts all new licences and consents for oil, gas and coal projects in the UK. Their action was spurred on by the fact that the UK Government is signalling that it may fail to honour its commitments to essential climate funds. [1][2]

Starting at around 8:00 am, 25 supporters began marching in four groups in Southwark and Tower Hamlets. Two marches converged on Tower Bridge and were issued a Public Order Act (Section 12) notice and off the road by 8:30am. The mini-march in Vauxhall was issued a Section 12 notice and was off the road by 8:10. A mini-march in The City of London started at 8:52 and was issued a Section 12 by 9:15, just before Blackfriars Bridge. Further marches are expected later this morning. 

One of those marching today, Kate Bramfitt, 50, a mum-of-two from Hexham in Northumberland, said:

“I read our local newspaper every week. There are always front-page stories about the threat to wildlife, schools closed because of flash floods, and fires linked to the climate. My teenage kids are growing up confronted by these threats. A friend’s 10-year-old son asked him, ‘What are you doing about the climate emergency, Dad?’. He didn’t know what to say. Then he joined Just Stop Oil and now he has an answer.”

“We’ve all done everything we could to raise the alarm but this is an emergency and needs to be treated like one. I want a safer, healthier, liveable future for all of our kids. I know that it’s possible. No new oil and gas licences.”

Commentators have said that Rishi Sunak risks “shattering” the UK’s global standing by slipping out of its £11.6bn commitments. Factors being blamed include the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over this period, the Conservative Government was accused of awarding £3.5 billion of corrupt contracts – over twice the amount spent on international climate finance in 2021/22 financial year. [3] [4] 

One of those in the road today was Catherine Rennie-Nash, 73, a retired teacher and grandmother from Kendal. She said:

“This year the UK —and 72 other countries— experienced the hottest June since records began. This terrifies me – our government is doing virtually nothing to address one major cause of our collapsing climate: fossil fuels. I have no choice but to be in civil resistance with Just Stop Oil and do what I can for my children and grandchildren’s future and for the future of all people with no voice.”

“I will do whatever it takes to non-violently expose the genocidal activity of this inadequate, self-serving government. Granting new oil and gas licences when we’re already deep into climate collapse is immoral and insane. I’m terrified that we’re losing all we hold dear.”

Today, seven Just Stop Oil supporters will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates Court after being held overnight in police custody. Four were arrested yesterday for slow marching after police issued Section 12 notices. A further three who disrupted the Wimbledon Championships yesterday, will also be facing a magistrate this morning.

Just Stop Oil supporters have completed up to seven marches a day, six days a week since the 24th of 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 234 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.

Time’s up for new oil, gas and coal. It’s time everyone got on the streets, marching every day to demand change. Join us to march from the 16th-23rd July. 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.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/04/revealed-uk-plans-to-drop-flagship-climate-pledge-rishi-sunak

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2023/jul/05/uk-risks-shattering-global-standing-by-dumping-116bn-climate-pledge

[4] https://labour.org.uk/press/labour-accuses-government-of-a-corruption-cover-up-over-3-5-billion-of-tory-linked-covid-contracts/