“Are you discussing genocide?”: Injunction Injustice targets DLA Piper 

Five people from Injunction Injustice disrupted a corporate presentation event at the offices of the law firm DLA Piper on Tuesday evening before they were ejected by security guards. The city law firm is profiting the most from the civil law injunctions brought by the government against Insulate Britain, Stop HS2 and Just Stop Oil.  [1]

Tuesday evening at around 6pm, five people from Injunction Injustice stood outside the DLA Piper and Times newspaper sponsored event  ‘A Year In Review’ at 160 Aldersgate, London. They displayed banners, spoke to guests and at one point entered the foyer of the building before they were forcibly ejected by security guards. Guests included lawyers, consultants and DLA Piper clients from The Times, The Telegraph, the Spectator and The Guardian amongst others.

The Injunction Injustice supporters were raising awareness of the role of law firms such as DLA Piper in helping the government to silence dissent and repress peaceful protest through the means of civil injunctions. As well as criminal charges, incarceration and tagging, climate defenders who may have breached an injunction simply by standing outside an oil terminal with a sign, face oppressive financial costs.

The use of injunctions is having a chilling effect on peaceful protest; protest against new oil and gas licensing which will kill hundreds of millions of people. Scientists warn of untold suffering and death, of the collapse of whole nations, and the eradication by manmade global heating of entire peoples and cultures. New oil and gas means genocide and lawyers who are supporting the government in suppressing protest are complicit.

Injunction Injustice supporter Karen Wildin said:

“The role of lawyers and journalists is critical in these times. Most don’t seem to want to acknowledge this, probably because it requires significant shifts of attitude and mindset. However, they have huge power and therefore huge responsibility. 

“The most important thing any of us can do is acknowledge that business as usual is killing us. If we continue down the current path we face annihilation. This is especially true for young people and those in the global south for whom continuing with our fossil fuel addiction means genocide.

“We asked the participants are you discussing genocide tonight ? And if not, why not ?”

Injunction Injustice was started by people who have previously taken action with Just Stop Oil but who are now banned from participating in Just Stop Oil actions by draconian bail conditions. 

A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said

“More and more ordinary people understand what these lawyers apparently do not and that is that no-one is safe from the consequences of runaway global heating. Your fat salary might give you a few months respite from extreme heat waves and mass crop failure, but in the end we will all see our children starve and have to face riots and war. 

“Why, then, are lawyers aiding and abetting our criminal government in persecuting ordinary people trying to protect humanity when we should all be working together to deal with the impacts of climate breakdown and societal collapse? Lawyers must be responsible. Stop profiting from genocide”

DLA Piper is an international Law firm that claims to have green credentials and yet they are the firm profiting the most from the civil law injunctions brought by the government against Insulate Britain, Stop HS2 and Just Stop Oil.

Lawyers for DLA Piper charge the government between £90 and £412 per hour for their services, fees which the government then seeks to recoup from the people named on injunctions in the form of legal costs.  For example, lawyers acting for the government in respect of the National Highways Ltd M25 injunction originally sought costs of £727,574 against the 133 defendants. People named on injunctions are frequently faced with huge legal bills whether or not they broke the injunction. [2]

In addition to legal costs running to tens of thousands, those convicted of breaking an injunction face up to 2 years in prison, an unlimited fine and seizure of assets. Many of those in court this week have already spent long periods on remand, experienced restrictive bail conditions and ankle tags and, in an apparent case of double jeopardy face trial for public nuisance in criminal courts in 2024/5. [3][4]

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. Climate Emergency Fund is Just Stop Oil’s primary funder for recruitment, training, and capacity building.

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] Further information on injunctions and the repercussions of breaking them can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-k-JlmOgk6Uv1phNhEiIRg9Uc1qeSpCQIF5pHDYJmLM/edit?usp=sharing

[3] Climate activists face ‘crippling’ legal fees for injunctions banning protest

Protesters facing criminal convictions are being punished twice as National Highways and TfL seek costly injunctions: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/civil-injunctions-just-stop-oil-insulate-britain-extinction-rebellion-punishment-protests/

[4] Punishment without trial: Britain’s latest weapon in the war against dissent https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jun/29/punishment-without-trial-britain-civil-injunctions-climate-activists