Why are we visiting MP’s homes?

In the past week, there has been significant debate regarding the validity of visiting MP’s homes in order for constituents to communicate the urgency of humanity’s current situation. We value this wider discussion because ultimately no-one knows what the nonviolent response is to the very violent harm that is being imposed on all of us by this current system. 

The emergency that we are now firmly in the middle of, leaves us with no comfortable options about how to proceed. 2023 was the hottest year on record- by a significant margin. It was the first year that was entirely over the 1.5C degree limit that world leaders committed to staying below in 2015. The world has now had numerous stints hitting the 2 degree limit delineated as the maximum threshold for maintaining any sort of stable society. What this means for humanity in real terms is outside the boundaries of any of our understanding. Humans are not equipped to comprehend the magnitude of the disruption that we have set in motion, but in short, it means profound loss of life and the likely annihilation of everything we hold dear, unless we rapidly reorient ourselves and begin to deal with this problem.

The question is: What do we do now? We do not have the answers, but we trust they will emerge out of wider discourse that is under way.

For clarity, we feel it is important to reiterate our commitment to nonviolence. All Just Stop Oil supporters are trained in nonviolence as a prerequisite for taking action and we very carefully design actions based on the particular context and unique circumstances for each one. Always this is done with great care and consideration of the wellbeing of all involved.

It is clear to everyone outside of Westminster that our current political system is failing all of us, and it is also clear that ordinary people have very limited means of enacting significant policy change. Despite over fifty years of traditional lobbying, nothing has worked. Historically, when power fails to respond to the will of the people, one of the few options citizens have left is to go directly to the people making the decisions. We have no choice but to take our message to the MP’s and to the power holders, because the nature of our predicament will leave no parts of our lives untouched. Our sense is that there is a need to call on MP’s in a way that is reflective of the totality of the climate threat, hence we need to go to where they live, work and play.

Where Just Stop Oil supporters have visited MP’s homes in the past, it has looked very different to what certain media outlets have described in recent articles. For example, last year, we sang Christmas carols outside Keir Starmer’s house and sat peacefully outside of one of Rishi Sunaks’ many houses. We will continue to visit the homes of MPs, delivering letters, and sitting on the pavement for time-limited periods to demand an end to Tory oil. Climate breakdown will bring wreckage and suffering into every person’s home and lives indiscriminately. Nevertheless, we certainly do not intend to enter people’s homes and cause criminal damage as has been suggested. [1]

It is important to acknowledge that we all deserve safety in our homes and that is why we are asking those who are making decisions that affect all of us, by enabling the continued drilling of new oil and gas, to end new oil and gas. It is because all of our families are in danger that we are taking this action.

As the world passes tipping points that threaten the breakdown of ordered civilization, our politicians, captured by the interests of oil lobbyists and big business, are failing to protect our communities. 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.