Just Stop Oil climate protesters not jailed over track invasion at British Grand Prix

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Just Stop Oil protest at Silverstone Grand Prix


Six climate crisis protesters have been spared jail after a track invasion that risked “serious harm” to Formula One drivers and marshals at last year’s British Grand Prix.

Louis McKechnie, Emily Brocklebank and Bethany Mogie, who were among five Just Stop Oil campaigners who were dragged off the circuit at Silverstone as two Formula One cars passed close by, were given suspended jail sentences at Northampton crown court on Friday.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Garnham also handed 12-month community orders to fellow protesters David Baldwin, Alasdair Gibson and Joshua Smith.


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Just Stop Oil youth campaigners deliver ultimatum to Rishi Sunak

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Two young supporters of Just Stop Oil, a one year old campaign demanding that the government stops granting licences for new fossil fuel projects, delivered an ultimatum letter to 10 Downing Street this morning.

Just Stop Oil youth campaigners deliver ultimatum to Rishi Sunak 14 February 2023. Image: Just Stop Oil

Hannah Hunt, 23, from Brighton announcing the delivery of the letter, made a brief speech to assembled reporters. She said:

“A year on from delivering Just Stop Oil’s Saint Valentine’s Day letter, along with hundreds of others, I face multiple trials and the loss of my freedom because we refused to stand by while our government planned the destruction of everything we love.

“We may not succeed, and we may yet bequeath a poisoned bleak inheritance – but I make this promise to those I love: for the government to win, it will have to defeat the youth of this country for we will put our bodies on the line.

“Now I am asking you to pick a side, to join me, to stand with those future generations and with all the ordinary people willing to sacrifice their freedom to protect our future. We must stop the harm that is new oil and gas.”

Phoebe Plummer, 21, from London read out the contents of the letter to the Prime Minister. It points out that according to the International Energy Agency in order to have an even chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement, there can be no new investments in fossil fuel supply projects. [3] She said:

“One year ago our letter stressed that the government, of which you were a part, knew that breaching 1.5˚C could be the death sentence for our children and for whole countries and regions of the world.

“Since then, we have been warned by the United Nations that not only will we hurtle over 1.5˚C but also that there is “no credible pathway to 1.5˚C in place”.

“Accelerating the granting of North Sea oil and gas licences … is to knowingly plan for the death of countless millions, for the loss of entire nation states. It is an act of genocide, for which you will be held accountable.”

She went on to deliver the following ultimatum:

“Just Stop Oil is demanding that: The UK government makes a statement that it will immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.

“If you do not provide such assurance by 10th April 2023, we will be forced to escalate our campaign – to prevent the ultimate crime against our country, humanity and life on earth..”

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‘It’s like Groundhog Day’: what prison is like for young climate activists

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Louise Harris climbs a gantry above the M25 for Just Stop Oil. Imge: Just Stop Oil.

We speak to three Just Stop Oil activists who have spent time in jail as a result of their climate activism

Most people spend their 21st surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones. Usually, there are presents, balloons, a cake festooned with a ring of striped wax candles. Maybe a bottle of champagne too, if you’re lucky. But last year, Louis McKechnie spent his 21st birthday alone in a prison cell – and celebrated his 22nd the same way this year, too.

“I didn’t expect to spend this birthday in prison, but I’m comfortable enough,” he said in a statement published on the Just Stop Oil website on his birthday in November 2022. “No matter what the state takes from me, I’ll be glad to have given it to increase my generation’s odds of survival.” Louis, 22, is a Just Stop Oil activist. He’s been incarcerated in HMP Wandsworth since July, following his protest at Silverstone in the summer, and will remain there until next year. He’ll miss Christmas this year too – again, just like he did last year.

When it comes to climate protests, most of the time, we only see one half of the story: activists launching soup at a painting or glueing themselves to a motorway, before being swiftly whisked away in handcuffs by police in high-vis jackets. We rarely pause to think about what happens to these activists after they’ve been arrested and what they sacrifice in the process.

We spoke to three Just Stop Oil activists – McKechnie (via his father), Jesse Prince, who spent eight days in HMP Lewes, and Louise Harris, who has recently been released on bail from HMP Bronzefield – about what it’s really like to have a brush with the law as a climate activist. 

Go to article: https://www.dazeddigital.com/life-culture/article/57619/1/young-climate-activists-prison-experience-just-stop-oil

Continue Reading‘It’s like Groundhog Day’: what prison is like for young climate activists

Just Stop Oil disrupt traffic in North London calling for U-turn on coal decision

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Just Stop Oil protests at Green Lanes, Finsbury Park, London. Image: Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil have disrupted traffic on key routes in London today to demand that the government halts all new fossil fuel licences and consents and reverses last week’s disastrous decision to permit a new coal mine in Cumbria

Just Stop Oil activists wearing hi-vis vests disrupted traffic at Green Lanes, Finsbury Park and proceeded to march slowly northwards accompanied by around 7 police officers at 8am this morning.

Sheila Shatford, 67, grandmother of two and former nurse from Bristol, who has already spent 13 days in prison for taking action with Just Stop Oil, said:

“As a baby boomer I have a responsibility and a need to stand beside all the brave young people who are prepared to put their careers and freedom on the line in order to stop the wanton destruction of their future and the misery and suffering happening right now as a result of climate breakdown. 

“Shame on you Mr Sunak, for allowing your government to support oil and gas expansion, shame on you for allowing a new coal mine that nobody wants or needs. Shame on you for demonising peaceful people. You can ban us, revile us, lock us up but you won’t stop us. We will not be complicit in the destruction of everything we hold dear.”

Peter Smith, 30, from Harringey, London said:

“The stark reality is terrifying. If we continue down the road we are currently on we don’t have a future. We face starvation and misery and the loss of all we hold dear. Normal people need to take a stand and support Just Stop Oil in stopping new fossil fuel licences and moving towards a sustainable future.”

Ludi Simpson, 69, a retired planner from Shipley, Yorkshire said:

“The UN general secretary says that spending on new fossil fuel exploration is delusional. Our government is doing just that and I fear for my children’s future. My action is from the heart and the head. I know politicians can do the right thing if they listen to the facts. Their inaction is burning up our lives.  I want us all to have lives we can be proud of. Is it too much to ask for a safe future? Governments must end the greed of oil companies which is immoral and killing us.”

Continue ReadingJust Stop Oil disrupt traffic in North London calling for U-turn on coal decision

Just Stop Oil activists disrupt traffic calling for U-turn on coal decision

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Just Stop Oil disrupt traffic. Image: Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil supporters have disrupted traffic on key routes in Central London today to demand that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents and reverses yesterday’s decision on a new coal mine.

15 Just Stop Oil supporters wearing hi-vis vests walked onto Whitechapel Road, East London at 8.15am and proceeded to march slowly east and then west causing delays to traffic.  The march continued onto Commercial Road.

Sophie Holland, 51, a mum of three and NHS speech therapist  from Bristol said:

“My concern for the future of everything has reached the point it seems reasonable, responsible even, to be in the streets demanding change. Why is our government not listening to Sir David King, Sir David Attenborough, the many 1000’s of scientists and the UN Secretary General who can’t make it any clearer: either we change, or we perish. Still the government plans for more oil, gas and now coal. They are killing us, our natural world,  our children’s futures.   

“I work with people with severe asthma and long Covid, who struggle to breathe. Air pollution will get worse, as will fires, floods, hunger. It is beyond contention. A liveable future is possible, but only if we stop new oil and gas. I’m terrified. I want my children to die of old age. What I can’t understand is why isn’t everyone on the streets, shouting for change?

Teresa Garlake, 59, a former teacher and mother of 2 young adults from Oxford said:

“As a teacher I worked to help children believe in themselves and their power to be good citizens. What future do they have now? Our government knows full well that allowing the extraction of new oil and gas resources in the UK will destroy everything we hold dear. Yet it continues to subsidise the fossil fuel industries with billions of pounds every year. 

“I don’t want to be here causing disruption, but the fact is that the real disruption is being caused by a government that continues to support a fossil fuel industry that is bringing about an unliveable future. Morally, who are the criminals?    We are here to do all we can to bring about a future for all children. We can’t have that unless we stop all new oil and gas” 

The action follows yesterday’s announcement by the government that it has given the greenlight to the UK’s first new coalmine in 30 years at Whitehaven in Cumbria.

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said “The government has just ripped up any pretense of global climate leadership and signed the death warrant for millions of people and for what? Coal that no British company wants or needs, whose credentials rest on dangerous lies about jobs and carbon capture and storage. 

“Their toxic plans will lead to social collapse and the destruction of everything we hold dear. This cannot stand. We need everyone out on the streets now to take back what is rightfully ours: the chance of a livable future.” 

Continue ReadingJust Stop Oil activists disrupt traffic calling for U-turn on coal decision

12 Just Stop Oil activists in court for M25 gantry actions today

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Image: Just Stop Oil

12 Just Stop Oil activists are appearing in court today to face charges associated with causing disruption on the M25 in November to put pressure on the government to halt all new oil and gas licences and consents.

This week sees the continuation of court hearings for the Just Stop Oil supporters arrested as part of the four days of action on the M25 during November. A total of 12 supporters including 5 currently on remand are appearing at Southwark Crown Court today from 11:30am in 4 separate hearings in connection with actions taken on 8th November.

Among those appearing in court today is Jane Touil, 56, a former public sector worker from Rochdale. She is partially sighted and was wrongfully imprisoned for 4 days in November after having been released on bail by a magistrate. Jane said:

“I feel morally compelled to act. I cannot stand by and do nothing while the government knowingly pursues genocidal policies. There can be no new oil and gas if we want a liveable future. Licensing new oil and gas amounts to mass murder.  I urge everyone who wants a liveable climate to support Just Stop Oil.”

George Cattell, 22, from Leeds said:

“Ordinary people are in absolute misery this winter, sitting in darkness and freezing as the government continues to prioritise the profits of fossil fuel companies that are torching the climate. Even during my relatively short life I have seen the climate crisis get much worse and still emissions are increasing. Licensing over 100 new oil and gas projects in the North Sea is criminal. I couldn’t sit by and watch anymore so I stepped up into civil resistance. I stand by my actions. I have no regrets and I’m prepared to go to prison if that’s what it takes to force our government to change.” 

Amber Robards, 21, an environmental student from Bristol said: 

“I’m terrified for the future. I couldn’t hide from the truth or carry on life as normal any longer. It is unbearable to just stand by and watch as the government commits genocide against vulnerable people across the world. My generation has been put in an impossible position. 

“I stepped up to take action with Just Stop Oil to put pressure on the government to stop new oil and gas projects and I am prepared to face the consequences. They would rather lock us all up than prevent societal collapse by ending new oil and gas. But you can’t imprison a flood, you can’t put a heatwave in the dock, you can’t fine a wildfire.”

Six weeks of continuous disruption and civil resistance by supporters of Just Stop Oil during October and November resulted in over 700 arrests. Since the campaign began on April 1st, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested over 2,000 times, with 25 supporters currently in prison.

Just Stop Oil continues to peacefully resist the 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 skyrocketing energy bills.

Continue Reading12 Just Stop Oil activists in court for M25 gantry actions today

Just Stop Oil disrupt traffic to demand an end to new oil and gas

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Image: Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil supporters have stopped traffic on key routes in Central London today to demand that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents.

At 8:00am, around 15 Just Stop Oil supporters wearing hi-vis vests walked onto the road at Bricklayers Arms roundabout in South London and proceeded to march slowly along the Old Kent Road,  causing delays to rush hour traffic.  The march continued through South London, followed by at least 3 police vehicles and up to 10 police officers.

A further march followed at Bank junction in the City.

Sam Griffiths, 47, a Dad and designer from London said:   

“I feel sick seeing how little is happening to address climate breakdown, the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. And our Government is actively making things worse. Granting over 100 new oil licences is indefensible and goes against everything that science says we need to do.    

“I started actively supporting Just Stop Oil after we had 40°C in the UK for the first time in recorded history. It scared the shit out of me. I looked at my boy and realised I couldn’t just continue to do nothing. 

“I’m sick of the weasel words of our politicians. Fake crying at COP then getting back home to sign more oil deals. It’s disgusting and will kill everything we love… if we let it happen. I’m no longer prepared to just stand by and watch.” 

Image: Just Stop Oil

Margaret Reid, 51, a former museum professional from Kendal who recently spent 7 weeks in prison for taking action with Just Stop Oil said:

“We are in a climate emergency right now. We no longer have the luxury of delay and indecision – that time is over. Against all humanity, morality and basic common sense, the government and the fossil fuel industry are taking actions that will continue to destroy us. They’ve been doing it for decades. So now, here, in 2022, we have to stand up for our own futures – and we have to take our own immediate action to stop them. 

“The climate crisis will affect all of us and it will destroy all our futures so, like it or not we’re all in this together.  We need to act right now, to act decisively and to act together.  We have so little time left, I am willing to try anything that might work.”

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Protesters hold demonstrations in Harrods, British Museum and Scottish Power HQ over surging energy bills

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Activists held protest in Harrods, the British Museum and Scottish Power headquarters today (3 December), as part of national demonstrations against surging energy bills and fuel poverty.

Don’t Pay UK, Fuel Poverty Action, Just Stop Oil and others groups held a series of what they describe as ‘warm-up’ protests.

Activists entered the British Museum’s great hall – the largest indoor public square in Europe – where they also protested against the Bloomsbury venue’s sponsorship links with oil giant BP.

Just Stop Oil supporters cosy up at Harrods on Fuel Poverty Day of Action

Image: Just Stop Oil, Rich Feldgate

Just Stop Oil supporters have occupied beds and sofas in Harrods to demand that the government Just Stop Fuel Poverty by insulating homes and ending our reliance on expensive, dangerous and dirty fossil fuels. 

At around 1pm, 4 Just Stop Oil supporters briefly occupied beds and sofas in Harrods department store on Brompton Road in central London and displayed signs reading “Just Stop Oil, Just Start Insulation”, “Just Stop Fuel Poverty” and “Oil Equals Death”. They were rapidly escorted out of the store by around 20 security guards.

Image: just Stop Oil.

Just Stop Oil supporters are acting today in solidarity with Fuel Poverty Action’s Energy For All campaign and the Don’t Pay UK campaign. The action is one of several Warm-Ups taking place across the UK in towns and cities including Glasgow, Liverpool, Bristol and London in support of the Warm This Winter coalition’s Day of Action on fuel poverty.

A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said 

“This government is allowing ordinary people to starve and freeze this winter as greedy energy companies squeeze every last penny out of us. The health service is in crisis, workers’ wages are being squeezed, and nurses are using food banks. Austerity is a political choice and the cost of living crisis is an unprovoked attack on ordinary people.

“Worse still, rocketing energy prices are funding the companies who are torching the climate. Rishi Sunak’s government plans to allow over 100 new UK fossil fuel projects. They are signing our death warrants. New oil and gas is criminal, an act of genocide against billions of people in the poorest countries on earth, and an act of war against the young.

“If the government really cared about ordinary people, as they keep claiming, we’d see an emergency response to the climate and cost of living crisis. Everyone would have their basic energy needs met and bills would be shrunk through insulation, renewables and free public transport, paid for by the fossil fuel companies and the rich.”

National Energy Action estimates that as a result of rising energy costs, around 2.2 million more people have fallen into fuel poverty this year in the UK raising the total figure to 6.7 million. The chancellor’s decision to further raise the energy price cap in 2023 could see the number of households in fuel poverty rise from the current 7 million this winter to 8.6 million households by next April according to the End Fuel Poverty Coalition

Continue ReadingProtesters hold demonstrations in Harrods, British Museum and Scottish Power HQ over surging energy bills