Les Mis disruptors on trial at Westminster Magistrates

Five Just Stop Oil supporters are on trial today for disrupting a West-End performance of Les Mis. The five took action on 4th October 2023 and were demanding that the UK government immediately halts all licensing and consents for new fossil fuel exploration and extraction. [1]

Hanan Ameur, Poppy Bliss, Noah Crane, Lydia Gribbin, Hannah Taylor are appearing before District Judge Clarke at Westminster Magistrates Court today.

The five supporters entered the stage last year during the performance of ‘Do You Hear The People Sing?’, carrying orange banners which read ‘Just Stop Oil’ and ‘The Show Can’t Go On’. They emerged during the song’s crescendo, amongst actors bearing revolutionary red flags. [2]

One of those on trial today is Noah, 19, from Norfolk who said:

“In October last year, four of my friends and I climbed onto the stage during a performance of Les Misérables and attached ourselves to the set, eventually forcing the rest of the show to be cancelled. I take complete responsibility for this action and everyone it affected. 

Despite this, I will be pleading not guilty to both charges held against me. The government and the corporations that control it, have created a situation where only with radical action can we hope to reduce the obscene consequences of the climate crisis. So, while I do feel a great deal of regret towards the performers, audience and staff, I refuse to admit that my actions were wrong. So I will continue to struggle for the right for everyone to live: at court today, on the streets, and at political events. Because there is no other choice.”

Another of those appearing today is Hanan Ameur, 22, a student and hospitality worker from London who said:

“We are at a critical point. It is clearer now more than ever that meaningful change is not only wanted but necessary. No new gas and oil. Do you hear the people sing?” 

Also on trial today is Hannah Taylor, 23, a community worker from Glasgow, who said:

“There’s a high probability I will be convicted today for disrupting a performance of Les Mis; but what use is a play about revolution if we are not hearing the message? We are sitting by and watching our government sell-out our futures for oil money. It’s time for people to stand-up and, using whatever non-violent means necessary, demand that the government act to protect our communities from what is happening.”

Today’s trial comes as record breaking extreme weather continues to disrupt lives and destroy crops around the world. Yesterday, ten inches of rain fell in Dubai in just 24 hours leading to mass flooding.

Dr Friederike Otto, senior lecturer in climate science at Imperial College London said: “If humans continue to burn oil, gas and coal, the climate will continue to warm, rainfall will continue to get heavier, and people will continue to lose their lives in floods.” 

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/2023/10/04/the-show-cant-go-on-just-stop-oil-supporters-interrupt-les-mis/