Just Stop Oil: 137 activists arrested during week of protests at terminals

·3-min read
Protesters have been gluing themselves to petrol pumps   (Getty Images)
Protesters have been gluing themselves to petrol pumps (Getty Images)

More than 130 activists protesting against fossil fuel use have been arrested this week after disrupting oil terminals and petrol stations.

They included 43 climate protesters detained on Friday when petrol forecourts across London were sabotaged, police said.

The activists from the Just Stop Oil group broke display glass, gluing themselves to pumps and covering them with spray paint shortly after 6am.

They also blocked access to forecourts by sitting on entrance roads with banners.

Just Stop Oil said 51 supporters disrupted seven petrol stations, including on Albert Embankment, central London.

Activists also set off flares and unfurled a banner on Westminster Bridge shortly after 7am.

The Metropolitan Police said they arrested 43 people on suspicion of offences such as criminal damage and highway obstruction.

Other protests this week targeted service stations on the M25.

And with 137 people arrested this week, it brings the total detained since the campaign began on 1 April to 1,296, the group said.

Just Stop Oil opposes government plans to approve 46 new oil and gas projects by 2025 and what it says is the government’s failure to address skyrocketing energy bills, as watchdog Ofgem announced an 80 per cent hike in energy bills.

Activists smashed the glass in pumps and left messages on them (Getty Images)
Activists smashed the glass in pumps and left messages on them (Getty Images)

Several of the demonstrators have previously been charged over allegedly breaking injunctions imposed around oil terminals to prevent Just Stop Oil action.

The group hailed as “a significant victory” a decision by North Warwickshire council that it was no longer pursuing its case against 11 people arrested at Kingsbury oil terminal on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Organisers said protesters had been standing peacefully on a grass verge outside the terminal.

Steven Jarvis, 66, a retired plumber from Devon, who appeared at the Royal Courts of Justice and was granted bail, said: “This government seems determined to drive us ever deeper into the climate crisis and destroy our futures by licensing more oil extraction so their mates in the oil industry can continue making obscene profits at the expense of ordinary working people.

“When the climate crisis and cost of living crisis is caused by oil, the solution is not more oil.  We need to cancel all new fossil fuel licences and pivot to renewables and home insulation.”

Police led away those arrested (Getty Images)
Police led away those arrested (Getty Images)

Tez Burns, 34, a bicycle mechanic and physics graduate from Swansea taking part in the action on Friday, said: “I can’t live with myself, knowing what I know, without doing all I can to stop new oil and gas.

“We are suffering the worst cost-of-living crisis in 40 years and facing climate breakdown because of our dependence on oil.

“Yet the government is allowing energy companies to drive us into poverty with skyrocketing energy bills, and is failing to protect us from the consequences of climate collapse.”

Protesters used spray paint (Getty Images)
Protesters used spray paint (Getty Images)

A government spokesperson said: “We will not bend to the will of activists who naively want to extinguish North Sea oil and gas production. Doing so would put energy security and British jobs at risk, and simply increase foreign imports, while not reducing demand.

“We are committed to a strong North Sea industry as we transition away from fossil fuels over the coming decades, and our recent British Energy Security Strategy sets out a long-term plan to ramp up renewables and nuclear energy.”

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi has insisted “nothing is off the table” when it comes to action on soaring energy bills and the Treasury is “working up options” to support households as their finances come under further strain.