Seven Just Stop Oil supporters found ‘not guilty’

Seven Just Stop Oil supporters have been found ‘not guilty’ for willful obstruction of the highway. The supporters are demanding that the UK government immediately halt all future licences and consents for fossil fuel exploration in the UK. [1]

Appearing before District Judge Bone at Stratford magistrates court yesterday, a group of seven Just Stop Oil supporters were acquitted for disrupting traffic at St George’s Circus London on the 13th October 2022. District Judge Bone found that the action was  proportional under Article 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The defendants are Kate Bramfitt, Tommy Burnett, Gillian Leader, Ben Plumpton, Fiona Prior, Jane Thewlis and Thomas Adams. [2]

One of those on trial yesterday, Ben Plumpton, a 69 year old retired grandmother from Hebden Bridge said:

“It’s good to be acquitted for a completely peaceful action intended to pressure the government on the multiple disasters and huge numbers of deaths they will cause by allowing more oil and gas extraction. It’s time the real criminals were prosecuted, the ones knowingly and deliberately causing these disasters and deaths – the government ministers granting new licences and the fossil fuel executives prioritising profits over life.”

Another of those on trial yesterday, Jane Thewlis, 60, a retired social worker from Bradford said:

“My life’s work has been to look after people and I can’t bear to see the suffering caused by climate breakdown. People are being forced to visit food banks and unable to heat their homes. I have been seriously depressed to see this government add to their suffering while giving tax handouts to the wealthy. Just Stop Oil gives a simple message: no more oil and gas licences. Let’s start creating a world where we care for everyone!”

Yesterday Phoebe Plummer (22), Ruby Hamill (19), and Chiara Sarti (24) were granted bail from HMP Bronzefield and HMP Wandsworth after almost 3 weeks on remand after being imprisoned, without trial, for marching in resistance to new oil and gas.

There have been 670 arrests of Just Stop Oil supporters since October 30th. There are currently five Just Stop Oil supporters in prison, three of whom have been imprisoned, without trial, for peacefully marching in the road. They are Cressie Gethin (21), Noah Crane (18), Ella Ward (20). 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. Fourteen Just Stop Oil supporters are currently under electronic tag surveillance. 

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 overwhelming majority of people that we take the actions necessary to ensure our survival and together we can make it happen.

Our government is waging war on its people, and we’re fighting back. They’re the real criminals – imprisoning peaceful people for taking proportionate action to protect their communities, whilst licensing more than 100 new oil and gas projects, which will destroy everything we value. 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.