Over 100 Just Stop Oil supporters shut down Whitehall

Just Stop Oil supporters have continued their campaign of peacefully marching in the streets of London, to the point of arrest. They are demanding the government immediately halt all new oil, gas, and coal projects in the UK. [1]

At 11:33am this morning, 130 Just Stop Oil supporters from the North and South West of England began marching down Whitehall from Trafalgar Square. A small number of Metropolitan Police arrived at 11:37am. At 11:52 am they began arresting Just Stop Oil supporters for allegedly breaching Section 7 of the Public Order Act 2023, but they were unable to bring the march to a halt at this stage, and the supporters made their way to Parliament. By 12:02 there were more than 100 police on the scene. By 12:13 all Just Stop Oil Supporters were arrested, with most peaceully refusing to comply with the police. Events are still unfolding.

Today marked the start of a second week of slow marching. According to the Metropolitan Police, a total of 111 people were arrested last week, with 54 being people charged, 4 put on tag, and 3 held on remand in Wandsworth, Thameside and Bronzefield prisons. Last week, police officers arrested Just Stop Oil supporters for simply handing out leaflets on the pavement, causing one man to suffer a fit after being violently restrained. [2]

Earlier this morning, two Just Stop Oil supporters took action at The National Gallery in Central London where they smashed the glass protecting The Rokeby Venus, a painting by Diego Velázquez that was famously slashed seven times by suffragette Mary Richardson in 1914.

One of those taking action today was Laura Fretwell, a 23 year old retail worker from Ilkeston. She said:

“I’m taking action with Just Stop Oil because if we don’t end new oil and gas, everything we know and love will be destroyed because of the greed of a select few. The government needs to take drastic action now to prevent climate chaos. Their refusal to do so condemns us all.”

“I will march, facing the threat of violence and arrest, because our children deserve better than to be living on a dying planet. We owe it to them to create a better world, as our elders have done for us.”

Also marching today is Justin Jago, 53, a registered blind guide dog user from Bristol, who said:

“I am marching in response to government plans to issue over 100 new oil and gas licences.  I am angry that this government has failed to address the catastrophe that is killing people around the world and threatens the future of humanity without immediate action. Soaring temperatures and adverse weather conditions are causing forest fires and flooding, killing countless people and causing mass displacement of families. 

“Historically civil disobedience has been the catalyst for positive change when governments have failed us, and I can’t ignore the facts. We owe it to children and young people facing a frightening future to act.”

We are not prepared to watch while the government plans for millions to die and destroys everything we love. 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. 

From 20th November, Just Stop Oil is calling on everyone to join us everday at midday in Trafalgar Square to march in London until the government comes to its senses and ends new oil and gas. 


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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.

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://news.met.police.uk/news/further-charges-following-just-stop-oil-protests-in-london-474732

[3] “Prosecute the real climate criminals” : Three Just Stop Oil supporters remanded to prison for slow marching

” Prosecute the real climate criminals” : Three Just Stop Oil supporters remanded to prison for slow marching