Dartford Crossing bridge climber released on bail, however now faces threat of deportation

Marcus Decker, one of two men imprisoned for scaling the QE2 Dartford Crossing in October of 2022, has been released on bail, however now faces a potentially lengthy battle to avoid deportation. Marcus took action to demand that the UK government immediately halts all new licensing and consents for fossil fuel exploration and extraction. [1]

After climbing 60 metres (200ft) up the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and releasing a Just Stop Oil banner, Marcus and fellow Just Stop Oil supporter Morgan Trowland remained on the bridge for almost 40 hours before being removed by police. [2]

Marcus was imprisoned for 490 days as of Monday the 19th of February and has served the longest sentence ever for peaceful protest in British legal history. Marcus is a German citizen with leave to remain in the UK. However, he now faces automatic deportation and potentially a prolonged legal battle for him to remain in the country with his partner and two step-children. [3]

On release from HMP Highpoint, Marcus addressed media outside with the following statement: 

“It’s been 490 days since I have not been in either handcuffs or behind barbed wire. Today, I’m overjoyed that I can finally embrace my love Holly and the children again, and go home with them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean I will be able to stay with them forever, as I’ve been released on immigration bail and so the deportation struggle continues, which is devastating. 

What a journey it has been since my friend Morgan and I climbed the cables of the Queen Elizabeth II bridge, in October 2022, when I followed my conscience to enact an entirely peaceful act, based on my informed understanding of the best available science, which details clearly the dire predicament we all find ourselves in. 

I chose to attempt to call for some ‘real justice’ as the remarkable Chris Packham recently put it to me so eloquently. I’m appalled and despairing that despite the crystal clear facts and frightening evidence of our systematic hurtling towards an unliveable world, and with already hundreds of thousands of avoidable deaths every year, the governments of the world (very much including our own here in the UK) are continuing to throw more fossil fuels onto the fire by licensing new oil and gas, whilst delaying real climate action like insulating our homes and decarbonising the food sector. 

With tipping points in the climate system dangerously close and complete societal breakdown therefore on the horizon during my lifetime, it’s obvious that many more people will be taking action as our situation worsens. I myself will refrain from breaking the law and will concentrate on the campaign to stop me from being separated from my family yet again.

I am distressed that my action above the Dartford crossing caused inconvenience and negatively affected many people on the day, and I do want to apologise for it. I have accepted my sentence in the knowledge that my actions were an attempt to minimise a much greater harm that is currently being imposed on our communities. I do however feel deportation would be a lifelong double punishment, not only for me but also for Holly and the children, something which I feel would be completely disproportionate.

I’d like to thank those who stuck by me, everyone who has supported me directly and indirectly throughout my imprisonment, all those that make prison more bearable, and those that have written to me from around the globe. My gratitude goes out to all those in this country and around the world who continue to risk their liberty, or even their lives for a livable future. Of course, I’d also like to thank my family, most of all my dear Holly. Thank you very much.”

A petition calling for Marcus to remain in the UK has attracted over 154,000 signatories and in January a letter signed by around 600 leading actors and musicians, including Bob Geldoff and Oliva Colman, was delivered to the Home Office calling for them to withdraw the deportation order issued to Marcus. [4][5][6]

Marcus’s partner Holly commented on his release:

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me and Marcus over the last 16 months. It has been very challenging being separated for all this time but the constant love, encouragement and generosity we’ve received from so many has enabled us to stay strong throughout.

I am forever in awe of Marcus, who even during the most difficult and cruel moments in prison, stayed calm and focused. His desire to help those around him at every stage never wavered and I believe he used his time inside as well as he possibly could, starting a choir for other prisoners, playing the piano for church services and helping run the chess club.

Marcus has apologised to all those who were badly affected by being stuck in traffic on the days of his action and I can assure you that he is truly sorry for that. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive and understand why his conscience led him to try and act on behalf of all those dying as a result of the climate crisis right now and for all our children who will ask us what we did to try and stop it.”

Sign the petition calling on the Home office to cancel the deportation on Marcus here:  


As the world passes tipping points that threaten the breakdown of ordered civilization, world leaders, captured by the interests of oil lobbyists and big business, are failing to protect our communities. British citizens are sick of being led by liars and crooks. Until we stop Tory oil, supporters of Just Stop Oil will continue taking proportionate action to demand necessary change. Sign up for action at juststopoil.org.


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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://juststopoil.org/2022/10/17/day-17-just-stop-oil-supporters-defy-gravity-by-climbing-the-qe2-bridge-forcing-police-to-close-the-bridge/

[3] https://juststopoil.org/2023/05/31/german-just-stop-oil-protester-who-scaled-dartford-crossing-faces-deportation-for-his-act-of-compassion/

[4] https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-deportation-of-a-peaceful-climate-activist

[5] https://juststopoil.org/2023/06/24/dont-deport-marcus-public-march-to-demand-home-office-end-deportations-of-peaceful-demonstrators/

[6] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/jan/26/geldof-coleman-urge-home-office-to-reconsider-climate-activist-marcus-decker-deportation