Just Stop Oil supporters arrested for approaching Parliament Square

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 12:00 pm today, a group of 11 people began marching on the pavement from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square in support of Just Stop Oil’s demand. They were followed by approximately 40 Metropolitan Police Officers. When they arrived at Parliament Square they stepped onto the road and were immediately arrested.

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 Jane Touil, 57, a visually impaired community worker from Rochdale, who said:

“I am not a criminal. I’m an ordinary person who has worked hard, paid my taxes and played by the rules all my life. Government policies are driving climate breakdown and keeping energy bills high.” 

“The government is acting in the interest of its oil industry donors and it seems happy to sacrifice a stable climate which sustains human life for short term profit. Our ‘leaders’ are the criminals and the police should launch an investigation into their crimes against humanity.”

Another of those marching today is Fiona Atkinson, 68, a retired English teacher from Kendal. She said:

“I’m taking action with Just Stop Oil because I’m so angry with our leaders for failing to stop all new oil and gas. My granddaughter is 11 and if they aren’t interested in protecting her then I have to step up. All grandparents and parents who love their kids need to join us on the streets – join us in Trafalgar Square every day from 12pm.”

“Seven people died as a result of the extreme weather in the UK in October! The UK! Tens of thousands of people were washed out to sea in Libya. The threat to us all is really clear, yet Rishi Sunak wants to add to the danger by granting over a hundred licences for new gas and oil exploration.”

“History and our children will judge us all by what we did or didn’t do to slow down climate breakdown. Don’t stay at home worrying – do something.”

Yesterday, four people were held for court after fourteen Just Stop Oil supporters were arrested within seconds of stepping onto the road at Whitehall. This morning Christopher Ford (46) a nursery school teaching assistant, and father of two sons, has been remanded to prison for peacefully marching.  

There have been 623 arrests of Just Stop Oil supporters since October 30th. There are currently ten 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) Christopher Ford (46) 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]

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, at the expense 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.

People are marching every day from Trafalgar Square at 12pm, to bring an end to new oil and gas. 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. 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