In the UK, the mobilization of Just Stop Oil is not weakening despite police repression

After an intense month of action in October, a series of blockades of roads and highways and dozens of arrests, the British collective Just Stop Oil is taking a break, but not giving up. “We are suspending our actions to give back to the members of the government the opportunity to reconsider their responsibilities to this country. It is now Just Stop Oil supporters who enforce law and order [au Royaume-Uni] and protect civil society”said the formation a few days ago.

Formed in December 2021 and made up in part of activists from the ranks of Extinction Rebellion, Animal Rebellion and Insulate Britain, Just Stop Oil has proven to be one of the UK’s most active climate advocacy movements. This year. Its message is simple: it demands that the government renounce the award of new oil and gas extraction licenses in the North Sea (100 are being awarded), that it end all energy subsidies for fossil fuels, and that it establish a significant ” windfall tax”, a tax on the super profits of companies that exploit fossil fuels.

Like Extinction Rebellion or Animal Rebellion, Just Stop Oil promotes civil disobedience and peaceful action: many of its activists take the risk of being arrested by the police for disturbing public order and even being sentenced from prison. As of November 9, sixteen collective activists were detained, and nearly 2,000 people have been arrested by the police since November April.

Also read: Sprayed tables, carved statues, interrupted sporting events: this environmental activism ready to shock to mobilize

Just Stop Oil began to be noticed in early 2022, blocking fuel depots in southern England to the point, in early spring, of causing petrol shortages in London. Its activists stuck to the entrance to the depots or directly to the top of the tanks, blocking the activity on the site. Met at the time, Louis McKechnie, 21, an engineering student at Bournemouth University, said he was “ready to become the most hated man in the land” to influence government decisions. He had already spent six weeks in an east London prison at the end of 2021 for his involvement in Insulate Britain. Very active, he interrupted a Premier League football match between Everton and Newcastle United in Liverpool in March, tying his neck to the goal post during the match. This action again earned him six weeks in prison this summer.

Government silence

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