By Sam Ord
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2799

Just Stop Oil blockades demand ‘no new oil, invest in renewables’

Their action comes ahead of XR’s rebellion in London later this month
Issue 2799
Just Stop Oil activists climb on board a tanker in Greys, Essex

Just Stop Oil activists in Greys, Essex (Picture: Guy Smallman)

Environmental activists from Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion shut down ten key oil facilities on Friday to demand an end to fossil fuel extraction.

From 4am, hundreds blocked critical oil terminals near London, Birmingham and Southampton. They demand that the British government stops new oil and gas projects. In Grays, Essex, young activists blocked roads, stopping oil tankers from filling up. 

As the traffic stopped, some used ladders to climb on top of the lorries. Oil tankers were completely blocked from leaving each site. A second wave of activists then arrived with food and supplies for those who occupied the fossil fuel infrastructure.

Navigator Terminals Thames in Grays is the largest fuel terminal in the south east of England. One of the 30 activists on top of tankers told Real Media, “We are here because we are terrified for our future. We are here because the fossil fuel industry threatens the lives of our generation and everyone we love.”

Another first time activist said, “No one seems to be doing anything, no one seems to be listening to us. We’ve done protests, tried to talk to our MPs—the only thing we can do now is direct action.”

Police struggled to remove and arrest the activists. Robin, a Just Stop Oil protester at Buncefield depot in Hertfordshire, said, “We’re here because it’s 1 April, the first day of the fuel price hike. We want to say that dependency on fossil fuels is always going to leave us volatile to global markets presided over by despots and oil execs.” 

Robin added that people “need the government to kick out fossil fuels from our energy system and instead invest in the green future that we all deserve”. 

Just Stop Oil hit seven sites while Extinction Rebellion activists took action at three. They are taking action to end reliance on fossil fuels to avoid catastrophic climate change—it’s a fight everyone should support.

Climate breakdown is already happening at a much faster rate than expected. And, instead of investing in green technologies and energy alternatives, the Tory government is doubling down on oil and gas exploration in the North Sea.

The activists demand that Britain begins the process of divesting from fossil fuels immediately and to rapidly transition to a zero-carbon economy. They also want an end to energy bill rises as the Tory government wastes £230 million a week subsidising the oil industry so it can make huge profits. The group said, “We can insulate ourselves from higher fuel prices by getting off oil and gas. No new oil, reduce demand and invest in renewables.”

The action comes ahead of XR’s April Rebellion, set to take place between 9 and 17 April. And the group says “be ready to continue in civil resistance in London on at least the first three weekends following the 17th.”

The hope of stopping climate catastrophe lies with mass mobilisation that takes on the profit system driving us to disaster. 

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