Just Stop Oil campaigners marching with banners.

Photo credit: Just Stop Oil

JUST STOP OIL supporters stopped traffic on two key routes in Central London earlier this week, despite UK government attempts to clamp down on environmental direct action. The activists are demanding that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents.

The action took place on Monday at Shepherds Bush Green in west London, causing traffic delays. Police arrested two people for obstruction of the highway. A further action took place at the Aldwych in central London. The disruption followed reports last weekend  of yet another government directed police ‘crackdown’ on nonviolent action by Just Stop Oil.

A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said: “Wanting to prevent the end of human civilisation is not a ’cause’ and Just Stop Oil is not a protest movement. Our supporters are ordinary people who are using all possible peaceful means to ensure a future for humanity. They are engaging in nonviolent direct action to stop new oil and gas because history has shown that it is the only way to achieve the scale of change that we need.”

“We will not be intimidated by changes to the law or government posturing on tougher policing tactics. Just Stop Oil supporters understand that this is irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter and the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities. The government can end this disruption tomorrow if they agree to halt new oil and gas licences and consents.”

Hannah Smith, aged 20, a student from London, added: “We are constantly asked ‘why are you doing this?’. We’ve made that obvious. The real question is: why is the government refusing to listen? The people of this country have had enough, and we deserve better from our leaders.”

“Many people feel hopeless, but I say ‘turn your climate anxiety into anger, and aim that anger towards the government’. By encouraging more new oil and gas, they are actively making it worse. Don’t let them convince you that we can’t make change. When we move as a collective, we have power.”

Alex Mackaness, aged 28, a charity worker from Bristol, commented: “The warnings of the world’s top scientists about our future terrify me. We’re heading towards catastrophe, but seem unwilling to do anything about it. I’m doing this for those who can’t yet speak up, like my five-year old cousin, who should be looking forward to his future on this beautiful planet.”

“I’d like to ask our leaders what they expect us to do when we hear the UN General Secretary tell us that we’re on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator? My message is that we won’t be silenced and we will continue to do whatever is nonviolently possible to force the government to end new oil and gas.”

This week’s actions were the first since 10th November, which marked the end of six weeks of continuous disruption and civil resistance by supporters of Just Stop Oil. During this period, the police made over 700 arrests. Since the campaign began on 1 April 2022, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested over 2,000 times, with 27 supporters currently being held in prison.

Just Stop Oil continues to peacefully resist the UK government’s plans to licence over 100 new oil and gas projects by 2025, and its failure to fulfil its promise to help people with their surging energy bills. By continuing to encourage new oil and gas they are complicit in the death of millions and are facilitating the collapse of the ordered society which allows democracy to function, the group says.

Source: Just Stop Oil