Just Stop Oil supporters disrupt rush hour traffic as Europe faces deadly ‘Cerberus’ heatwave

Just Stop Oil supporters were slow marching in London this afternoon. They are demanding that the government halts all new licences and consents for oil, gas and coal projects in the UK. [1] 

Starting at 4:33pm, three groups began marching from Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. One march issued a Section 12 notice, with all leaving the road by 6:03pm. This action comes at the same time as news of an impending heatwave in the Mediterranean being delivered by a ‘Cerberus’ anticyclone weather system coming in from Africa. The hottest temperature ever recorded in European history was in 2021 when Sicily saw 48-degree heat. This heatwave is expected to breach that record. [2] 

Sara Makhmudova, 20, a student from Camden, was one of those in the road today. She said:

“I am taking action with JSO because I have tried everything else and nothing has worked. We are now in the middle of the climate collapse which the government has been ignoring for decades. It’s clear that nothing short of mass disruption will force them to act.”

“I am terrified for my future, the future of my 7-year-old niece and everyone else I hold dear, but most of all I am terrified for the billions of people in the global south who will be displaced or killed by natural disasters.”

Prof Luca Mercalli, the president of the Italian Meteorological Society, said: “We know that there will be temperatures above 40C or 45C… We could get close to the record. Either way, the levels will be very high.” Heatwaves in Europe last year are believed to have caused more than 20,000 excess deaths. These heatwaves were less severe than what has been predicted for 2023. [3] [4]

Also in the road today was Liz Rees, 39, a project manager from Cardiff. She said:

“The International Energy Agency has stated that there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal if we are to stand a chance of maintaining a liveable planet.”

“I am an auntie and not much is more important to me than my nephews. My civil liberties count for nothing while their futures are in jeopardy, and in 10 years’ time when they ask me what I did to try to save them, I need to be able to answer ‘everything that I could’.

“The climate crisis is not an accident or an inevitability. Our leaders and institutions have the power, responsibility and ability to make the tough decisions that will mitigate its worst impacts and protect current and future generations. I am here asking them to step up, be accountable, and just stop oil.”

Just Stop Oil supporters have completed up to seven marches a day, six days a week since the 24th April. Over 800 ordinary people from all over the UK have taken part. Including arrests at the Coronation and cultural and sporting events there have been around 235 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.

It’s time to pick a side and join in civil resistance to end new oil, gas and coal. We are inviting everyone to come and march with us every day in London 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://bnn.network/breaking-news/climate-environment/italy-braces-for-record-breaking-heatwave-as-cerberus-anticyclone-approaches/

[3] https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/europe-weather-heatwave-cerberus-searing-temperatures-italy-45c/

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/24/over-20000-died-western-europe-heatwaves-figures-climate-crisis