Just Stop Oil supporters arrested for stepping on the road as 612 arrested across four weeks

Just Stop Oil supporters are in their fourth week marching to the point of arrest to demand that the UK government immediately halt all future licences and consents for fossil fuel exploration in the UK. [1]

At around 12:30 pm today, a group of approximately 14 people began marching from Trafalgar Square in support of Just Stop Oil’s demand. In much the same situation as yesterday, all 14 were arrested within 30 seconds of stepping on the road.

Just Stop Oil has issued an open call to the public and to all concerned parties to march together in defiance of this criminal government. This has been inspired by demonstrations in the Netherlands, where repeated road disruptions and continued pressure on the police, has forced the Dutch parliament to vote to end fossil fuel subsidies. [2]

One of those marching today and risking remand is Greg Sculthorpe, 37, an accountant from Doncaster, who said: 

“Yesterday nine people were arrested for marching for 30 seconds. If charged under the Public Order Act, they risk a year in prison. This is legislation that was written with the aid of an oil company funded think-tank. Do these seem like the actions of a liberal democracy or a tin-pot dictatorship?”

“This demonstrates how weak this government is. They serve the oil companies and they are so threatened by people raising their voices, and taking to the streets as people have done for centuries, that they are imprisoning teenagers, for simply demanding the government take basic steps to protect their generation from annihilation. We must do our civic duty and do everything we can to stop these criminals in government from destroying the lives and futures of ordinary people.”

Another of those marching today and risking prison is Callum Goode 24, a maths graduate from Ashbourne, who said:

“I know what I’m risking – that I’ll likely be sent to prison for continuing to peacefully march. But that risk is nothing compared to what is to come if this government continues to issue new fossil fuel licences. I can’t continue on as normal in this emergency. If I refuse to act in nonviolent resistance, I am complicit in this government’s acts of oblique genocide.”

“No level of police and government oppression can change that; I must act. I’m terrified for the future – a future of unimaginable suffering, starvation and death that new oil and gas will lock in. Nonviolent action is now the only thing I can do to meaningfully protect my friends, family and everyone else.”

Yesterday, nine people were held for court. There have been 612 arrests of Just Stop Oil supporters since October 30th. There are currently nine Just Stop Oil supporters in prison, seven of whom have been imprisoned, without trial, for peacefully marching in the road. They are Cressie Gethin (21), Noah Crane (18), Ella Ward (20), Ruby Hamill (19), Chiara Sarti (24), Phoebe Plummer (22) and Sam Griffiths (48). They join Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker, who have been imprisoned for over a year and were sentenced to 3 years and 2 years 7 months respectively, in the longest sentences ever awarded for peaceful direct action. [3][4][5][6][7]

Yesterday, the UN warned that the world will be exceeding 3 degrees of heating above pre-industrial levels- which will trigger catastrophic feedback loops, that threaten human civilisation. It was also revealed that the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the context of Climate Change, had written to the UK government to criticise the ‘severe’ sentences of Morgan and Marcus. He warned that a lack of response to his letter revealed a “general disregard for human rights concerns by the current government.” [8]

Continued expansion of new oil and gas will bring about the wholesale destruction of ordered society and an end to the rule of law. We are not prepared to watch while the government continues to serve the interests of a few, to the detriment of everyone else. It’s up to all of us to come together and resist. It is the will of the vast majority of people that we end new oil and gas and together we can make it happen.

From 20th November, the people are marching against oil every day from Trafalgar Square at 12pm. Our government is waging war on its people, and we’re fighting back. They’re imprisoning peaceful protestors, protecting the real criminals, and licensing more than 100 new oil and gas projects while everything burns. We’re coming together to demand an end to new oil and gas, and it’s not a case of ‘if’ we will win; but ‘when’. 


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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://extinctionrebellion.nl/a12-blockades-netherlands-effective-lower-house-asks-cabinet-for-phase-out-plan-for-fossil-fuel-subsidies/

[3] https://juststopoil.org/2023/11/16/we-wont-let-them-get-away-with-mass-murder-for-the-sake-of-greed/

[4] https://juststopoil.org/2023/11/16/how-many-people-will-die-before-you-stop-sending-people-like-me-to-prison/

[5] https://juststopoil.org/2023/11/09/a-message-from-sam-griffiths-in-wandsworth-prison/

[6] https://juststopoil.org/2023/11/20/a-week-in-resistance-with-cressie/

[7] https://juststopoil.org/2023/04/21/bridge-climbers-get-3-years-in-longest-ever-sentence-for-peaceful-climate-action/

[8] https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/un-criticises-severe-just-stop-oil-sentences/ar-AA1kgSLE