Just Stop Oil (JSO) supporters are coming towards the end of week 13 of their marching campaign to demand an end to new UK oil, gas and coal projects. 

Around 170 supporters in 16 groups set off on Friday morning in various areas in Central London, like Kings Cross, Victoria, and Earl’s Court. 

“There have been numerous incidents of members of the public shoving supporters out of the road today, with several marchers knocked to the ground, including a visually impaired woman and a young student,” the JSO statement reads.  

According to the British television news channel Sky News, the Metropolitan Police has responded to reports of protestors walking slowly on the road at various locations, with four protesters arrested for “breach of conditions”.

Matt Black, the founder of Ninja Tune Records, was arrested in Parliament Square this morning, and he said: “I’ve been arrested today whilst standing against our government’s unbelievably corrupt and idiotic mishandling of the climate emergency. Just Stop Oil is ringing the fire alarm because oil and gas are burning down our home. Every day on the news, more extreme heat, floods are raging, and people are suffering and dying. And this is coming to the UK, trust me.”

Just Stop Oil was launched on 14 February 2022, and according to their website, 2,350 people have been arrested since, and 138 people have spent time in prison without any trial. Currently, there are three supporters imprisoned for being part of the protests. 

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By GlobalData

“We need a government that moves past this corruption and greed and instead invests the money they pour into new oil and gas into clean energy, cheap public transport and all the other infrastructure we badly need. Anyone can stand up, and if enough of us do, we can protect ourselves and others,” said Cambridge scientist Tom Williams, himself an activist. 

Spraying paint over buildings and disrupting public events 

Earlier this week, JSO supporters sprayed orange paint onto a government building, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, for issuing more than 100 new oil and gas licences. One of the protestors was kicked and punched to the ground during one of the slow-marching events. 

Sky News reported that the Secretary of the UK Energy Department, Grant Shapps, told the London Broadcasting Company that “it is illegal criminal damage and I will leave that to the authorities”.

Yesterday, two JSO supporters threw orange paint over the think tank Policy Exchange’s building. Last year, the protestors threw tomato soup over Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London, one of the most eye-catching protests. 

The campaigners have disrupted many public events in the past year to attract attention to the decisions made by the government, ministers, fossil fuel executives and members of the legal and media professionals who “order, administrate, or facilitate the exploitation of new oil and gas resources”.

Newspaper the Big Issue reported that JSO protestors disrupted the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible in April 2023, the first day of the 2023 Ashes cricket test at Lords, the 2022 British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the 2022 Baftas.

Sir Robert Watson, an Emeritus Professor at the UK’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, said: “I do not believe we will achieve the 1.5°C limit; in fact, I am very pessimistic about achieving even 2°C, and that if we allow the target to become looser and looser, higher and higher, governments will do even less in the future.”