5 Just Stop Oil supporters arrested for walking on pavement

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 5 Just Stop Oil supporters began marching on the pavement from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square. They were followed by approximately 30 Metropolitan Police Officers. When they arrived at Parliament Square, the group were arrested while at a pedestrian crossing that was green. One of their number, Callum Goode, had been arrested at Trafalgar Square earlier for breach of bail. At no point did any of them march in the road.

One of those marching today and risking remand is Luke Watson, 34, a handyman from London. He said:

“On Monday I was arrested for marching 2 minutes in the road. I’m here again today because I don’t want to be bullied. Protesting, freedom of expression and assembly are basic rights, rights we seem to have lost”

“The UN has just said we’re on track for 3 degrees of warming and an unelected prime minister is going back on the environmental pledges that got his party elected whilst imprisoning young people for complaining about it. Aren’t you glad to live in a civilised liberal democracy?”

Another of those marching today is Greg Sculthorpe, 38, an accountant from Doncaster. He said:

“New oil and gas is incompatible with preventing the deaths of millions from heatwaves and crop failures. Our government is prioritising the shortsighted greed of fossil fuel companies over everyone else’s basic rights to life.

You have to decide what kind of person you are: someone who stands up to evil or someone who just lets it happen. We aren’t powerless. We could force our government to act responsibly if everyone who is able to, joined in civil resistance to fight for their lives and everything they love.”

Yesterday, news broke that 100 prominent figures including Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Ben Okri, and former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams signed a letter defending climate activists, such as the recently-acquitted HSBC 9. It insisted that “It is now incumbent upon all good people of conscience to rise up as these women have, to pull together and find our collective power”, while also lamenting that “Those standing up in defence of life on Earth are being criminalised by the UK legal system”, namechecking Just Stop Oil activists Morgan Trowland and Marcus Dekker. [2] 

At the same time, two octogenarian Just Stop Oil supporters staged an intervention at St. Paul’s cathedral, asking the congregation of a Thanksgiving service – ‘Will our children thank us?’. This disruption was well-received by the clergy, with Reverend Jennifer Mills-Knutsen, remarking: “parade and protest, praise and petition are one in the same”

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. [3]

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

There have been 633 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 Christopher Ford (46). 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. [4][5][6][7][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, 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://hardart.metalabel.com/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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