Just Stop Oil confront Emily Thornberry again

Two Just Stop Oil supporters have disrupted a public event featuring Emily Thornberry, after she failed to respond to a letter delivered to her home last week. They are asking for her to commit to leaving the Labour party if, after six months of forming government, they have failed to revoke the Tory oil licences granted since 2021. [1] [2]

As Thornberry was delivering her open remarks, the pair stood up to confront the Labour front-bencher and Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales. They threw orange confetti and addressed the assembly, remarking “We need you to make a commitment to revoke the Tory licences for oil and gas infrastructure which will lock us on to the worst pathways of global warming and climate catastrophe”, and “Labour needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Everyone else has clocked that new oil and gas means more floods, more fires, rising food prices… when are you going to get it?”. Members of the audience were repeatedly heard to say “hear, hear!” to these comments.

After the action takers were escorted from the room, Emily Thornberry addressed the audience, saying:

“I have had Just Stop Oil outside my house, I have had Gaza protests pretty much everywhere I go. I assumed it was Gaza then I saw the orange and thought ‘Oh, right! It’s Just Stop Oil’. The worst thing is that one becomes hardened to it… I’m happy to argue the issues, I’m not happy to be told I’m responsible for the murder of babies in Gaza, or I’m personally responsible for the boiling of the planet.”

One of those taking action today was Genevieve Shanahan, 33, a university lecturer in Management and Sustainability. She said:

“Today I’m approaching Emily Thornberry to implore her to stand up to fossil fuel extremists and use her influence within Labour to secure a commitment to cancel these licences. The Labour Party are poised to win the next general election, and rather than grabbing this opportunity to protect the British public from this violence they are instead – unbelievably – dropping their existing climate commitments.”

“As a lecturer in sustainability, I need to practise what I teach. In my classroom we examine how permitting investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure would lock in economic incentives that will, according to all reasonable models, make climate collapse inevitable. If the Tories’ new oil and gas licences go ahead then that’s it – it’s game over for all of us.”

On March 14th, Just Stop Oil supporter Phoebe Plummer was arrested after she and Rosa Hicks delivered a letter to the home of Emily Thornberry. This letter contained the same request that was put to Emily Thornberry today: that she commit to leaving the Labour party if, after six months of forming government, they have failed to revoke the Tory oil licences granted since 2021. [2]

Casper from North London, 31, is an ex-Labour member who took action today, saying:

“Emily Thornberry says it’s no time for cowardice on climate – except it’s her Labour Party who are so afraid of fossil fuel lobbyists they can’t commit to revoking the Tory oil licences that we know will accelerate climate breakdown. She and Labour have promised so much and gone back on it all — no wonder they’ve asked her to talk at a fraud conference!”

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, gas and coal, 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/2024/03/14/just-stop-oil-supporter-arrested-after-delivering-letter-to-emily-thornberry/