SUPPORTERS of Just Stop Oil marched peacefully through central London yesterday, in defiance of new anti-protest legislation and following the announcement of further record profits by oil companies.
The activists said that they will immediately halt their campaign when the government makes a meaningful statement to end licensing and consents for any new fossil fuel projects in the UK.
From around 7:30am, over 33 Just Stop Oil supporters began marching, in two different groups, from Gloucester Gate and St. Pancras Way in Camden. Just Stop Oil allies have been ‘slow marching’ in the capital every day since 24 April.
On Wednesday, 3 May 23 Just Stop Oil supporters were arrested for peacefully marching from Downing Street to Parliament Square. This is following the granting of extra powers to the police, as part of the ‘Public Order’ act, which gained royal assent on Wednesday. These additional powers were previously rejected by the House of Lords, however, the controversial introduction of secondary legislation has enabled the home secretary to bypass the democratic process, in a bid to stifle legitimate dissent.
Among a number of other draconian measures, described as “deeply troubling” by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the police now have the power to engage in suspicionless stop and search, as well as the ability to stop demonstrations before they even begin.
One of those who took action yesterday, Quenton Kelley,, a dock worker from Portsmouth said: “A wall is being built round our city to keep the sea out. The government is still subsidising oil. It makes no sense! The government takes £3.5 million from the fossil fuel lobby. Then they encourage more fossil fuel extraction, ban onshore wind and channel £236 million a week of taxpayers money into the pockets of Shell and BP, who just announced obscene profits.
“The corruption and criminality is plain as day and this is the price they are putting on our childrens’ heads. Now they take away our right to speak out about it and imprison anyone who resists. This is fascism plain and simple. I will not be silenced and neither should you. Go to juststopoil.org to sign up to march, as is our democratic right, established in international law.”
It was recently reported that the Conservatives received £3.5 million from polluters, fossil fuel interests and climate deniers during 2022. Meanwhile BP have just announced first quarter profits of $5 billion in the first three months of the year, outstripping analysts’ forecasts of $4.3bn. It’s competitor Shell has been accused of a “profiteering bonanza” after it made record first-quarter profits of more than $9.6 billion.
Since the Just Stop Oil campaign began on April 1st 2022, there have been over 2,100 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison, many without trial. There are currently two Just Stop Oil supporters and four Insulate Britain supporters serving prison sentences for resisting new oil, gas and coal.
Just Stop Oil said:”We stand with these political prisoners, with the 1,800 victims of our broken criminal justice system, imprisoned for over a year without trial, and with the 1,700 murdered across the global south, for protecting all our lives. This is the moment for us to come together and resist the destruction of everything we care about, something that is being imposed on us by a few, who only seek to enrich themselves.
“In moments of emergency, we must stand up and be brave, we must stand up for good over evil, life over death, right over wrong. Just Stop Oil is calling on everyone to pick a side. We need everyone to get off the sidelines and join in civil resistance against new oil and gas.
“The time is now. Join us and slow march while you still can. Our indefinite campaign of civil resistance is underway and will not end until our government ends new oil, gas and coal. Join Just Stop Oil on a slow march at midday every Saturday, at Parliament Square until we win.”
* Source: Just Stop OIl