Just Stop Oil students continue campaign of resistance calling on university students and staff to March in London

Three student Just Stop Oil supporters have painted buildings belonging to Manchester University, Cambridge University and University of Leeds. They are demanding the UK Government immediately halt planned new oil and gas projects and are calling on students and faculty staff to march with Just Stop Oil in London this November. [1]

At around 11:15 in Manchester, 19 year old Ruby Hamill spray painted the Allen Gilbert building (informally known as the Ali-G building) using a fire extinguisher. She then used her hands to paint ‘Just Stop Oil’ on the windows, before an armed unit of police, and over 20 officers in total, arrived in six cars and one van to arrest her.

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said:

“Ruby is a 19 year old supporter of Just Stop Oil. Like everyone who takes action with Just Stop Oil she has undertaken nonviolence training and is accountable for her actions. Contrast this with the heavy handed response of the authorities. Sending armed police and over 20 officers to arrest one slight young girl is a massive state overreach. It shows how scared they are that young people are resisting a government that is intent on destroying Ruby’s entire generation. Young people have every right to defend themselves and those they love against this government that is intent on killing millions for profit. Students across the country are stepping into action and marching with us in November. Sign up at juststopoil.org/students.”

Students are demanding that university leaders make a public statement calling on the government to end new oil and gas projects, and make a commitment to join their students in marching on the streets of London, if the government fails to respond.

It was recently revealed that UK universities have taken £40m in fossil fuel funding since 2022. Manchester University has received £3,077,268, Cambridge has received £2,821,437 and Leeds has received £418,881. [2]

Speaking before taking action today Ruby Hamill said:

“I’m taking action to call out the hypocrisy of Manchester Uni, an academic institution which is fundamentally betraying its students. Taking money from oil and gas firms means being complicit in their greenwashing.”

“This summer we all watched as thousands of Libyans were washed out into the ocean, and fires annihilated life on Maui. Immense suffering is a reality now for millions. This is why students across the country are stepping into action and marching with us in November.”

At around midday today, Chiara Sarti, a PhD student working in the department of Computer Science at Cambridge, used a fire extinguisher to spray orange paint over the iconic neo gothic gatehouse at King’s College. Meanwhile, at around 12:50, Sam Holland, a former student at the University of Leeds who studied Human Geography, used a fire extinguisher to paint the Great Hall at Leeds University.

Speaking ahead of her action, Chiara Sarti, 24 who lives in London, said: 

“New oil and gas is a death sentence. Young people have been completely betrayed. The government is enacting policies that will destroy my generation. We have a moral imperative to do whatever it nonviolently takes to stop them.”

“I’m doing this for my niece. By the time she grows up, we’ll have complete annihilation locked in. I cannot stand by while we can still do something to avoid the worst impacts of this disaster.”

Speaking before taking action at Leeds today, Sam Holland said:

“I’m taking action today because universities are lying to us. I studied Human Geography & Economics and was not told that hundreds of millions will be killed over the coming decades from famine, fire and war over resources because of the climate crisis. We have been betrayed by academics and university executives that are too cowardly to tell the truth, let alone take action to stop it.”

“The government licences genocidal new oil and gas drilling with no resistance from universities who research the starvation, social collapse and murder that it will result in. They have left it up to students to put their freedom on the line to fix the shit-show that they have created.”

“Young people are done waiting for someone to change the situation for us. You have no idea what’s coming when the rest of my generation wakes up to the murderous betrayal by the ‘adults in the room’.” 

Just Stop Oil supporters are not prepared to stand by and watch while the government plans for millions to die and destroys everything we care about. It’s up to all of us now to come together and resist. We cannot let them divide us. Together we can be the real opposition this country needs and we will win. We will stop new oil and gas. People are coming together from all over the UK to march day after day in London from 29th October. It’s People vs Oil!


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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/oct/04/uk-universities-take-41m-in-fossil-fuel-funding-since-2022?ref=biztoc.com