Just Stop Oil to pause disruption after 32 consecutive days of climate protests

Just Stop Oil announced that it will pause disruption from today, after 32 consecutive days of protests.

The last month the group has staged a series of demonstrations in London, forced the closure of the Dartford Crossing bridge and clashed with some members of the public frustrated by roadblocks.

The climate change campaign tweeted on Tuesday afternoon it is “giving time to those in the Government who are in touch with reality to consider their responsibilities to this country at this time”.

A Just Stop Oil activist sits in the middle of Whitehall in Westminster (PA Wire)
A Just Stop Oil activist sits in the middle of Whitehall in Westminster (PA Wire)

“If, as we sadly expect, we receive no response from ministers to our demand by the end of Fri 4 Nov, we will escalate our legal disruption against this treasonous Govt.

“Our action will be proportionate to the task of stopping the crime against humanity which is new oil and gas.”

The announcement comes after members attempted to climb the gates of Downing Street this morning, calling on the government to halt all new oil and gas licences.

At 11.20am on Tuesday, 22 protesters arrived in Whitehall with one group blocking the busy central London route by sitting in the road, with some gluing themselves to the surface, while others tried to climb the gates to Downing Street.

A video posted on the group’s Twitter account showed several protesters in their distinctive orange reflective waistcoats jumping over a smaller gate in an attempt to climb the main entrance to the street where the prime minister lives and works.

At times the protests have frayed the public’s patience, with drivers dragging protesters out of roads (Reuters)
At times the protests have frayed the public’s patience, with drivers dragging protesters out of roads (Reuters)

Officers shouted “make way” and “come back please” as armed police prevented some protesters from jumping over the smaller gate, and removed a woman who was climbing up the main gate.

Activists were dragged by officers towards police vans as members of the public filmed and watched.

The Metropolitan Police Events Twitter account said officers were aware of the protesters in Whitehall and Downing Street and that they were on the scene dealing with the matter.

Activists blocking the road on Commercial Street in east London (PA Wire)
Activists blocking the road on Commercial Street in east London (PA Wire)

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said: “Rishi Sunak is about to U-turn on attending Cop27.

“We demand that he also U-turn on new oil and gas. This genocidal policy will kill millions of people, while failing to address the worst cost of living crisis this country has ever seen.

“It’s time for a serious windfall tax on big oil, without the get-out-of-jail-free tax credits that will encourage more oil and gas that we cannot afford.

“Vulnerable people will be freezing to death in their homes this winter, unable to afford a can of soup, while his government refuses to tax the rich and the big energy companies that are profiting from our misery.

“We owe it to our young people to stop fossil fuels, we owe it to our workers to create a just transition to a zero-carbon economy, we owe it to our old people to enable them to live with dignity. We are not prepared to stand by and watch while everything we love is destroyed.”

A protester scaling the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at the Dartford Crossing in October (PA Media)
A protester scaling the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at the Dartford Crossing in October (PA Media)

Several videos posted on Just Stop Oil’s Twitter feed showed protesters marching through Trafalgar Square where they were followed by rows of police officers as the activists chanted: “No new oil, no new gas, no new coal, insulate Britain, we are Just Stop Oil”.

One protester shouted “this isn’t what democracy looks like” while pointing towards the crowd of police.

Another one said: “This is how a peaceful protest gets policed these days. This is ridiculous.”

The group of activists also chanted: “Protests will continue.”

The Metropolitan Police tweeted earlier that they were aware of protesters blocking the road by Trafalgar Square and that officers were “rapidly on the scene” and were “dealing” with the situation.