United Kingdom: Civil resistance group Just Stop Oil multiplies its actions

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Their actions went around the world: blocking roads and bridges, throwing soup at Les Tournesols… In the UK, the Just Stop Oil movement organized daily demonstrations throughout the month of October to demand the ban on new drilling permits in the Nordic region. Sea. Immersion among these new climate campaigners.

With our correspondent in London,

Morning rush hour in the heart of the city of London. On their way out of the adjacent streets, the members of Just Stop Oil sit down at the intersection. Steven, in his 50s, blocks a bus, this is his fifth act: “ Unfortunately, that seems to be the only way to get attention. Signing petitions, holding demonstrations, contacting our representatives, it is not enough. I don’t feel like I have a choice, I have to do this. »

Just Stop Oil has only one goal: to pressure the government to stop allowing new drilling in the North Sea: ” We are not asking that all oil pumps be shut down today, Steven explains. What we require is to use the current reserve of seven years in this country. During this time, and it is quite possible, we will switch to renewable energy sources. Without extracting new oil, because that would force us to keep fossil fuels for decades. »

► Read also: Ecology: do you have to be radical to be heard?

Methods that are not unanimous

After a ten-minute blockade, the police are at a crossroads. Some stuck to the bitumen to make the act last. More than 600 people were arrested in October 2022: activists, but also passers-by. The Metropolitan Police had to ask motorists not to intervene. The orange vests don’t always manage to open the dialogue, as this exchange shows:

But that’s not how it works in real life! What you do affects others! ” protests a man, annoyed.

Yes, but the impact of climate change… ” replies an activist.

This gentleman has to go to work, you force him to park anyway and he will be fined. Do you want to pay it? »

We do not force anyone to…”

You are not forcing someone, but you are preventing them from working! You have the choice, not him. You are wasting our time. »

In the ranks of the civil resistance movement (which rejects the label as eco-activists), people of all ages and from all walks of life… Helen, 66 and a former school principal, joined Just Stop Oil for a few months: ” I want to be able to say to my children: “I did my best for you. I occupied roads, I protested.” And I am just an ordinary woman, I have never participated in any protest. I have two children in their thirties, they have given up having children because the future scares them! »

After more than a month of mobilization, ” civil resistance to protect the environment won the support of two-thirds of Britons according to a poll. Sean coordinates the inner democracy part of the movement:

Unfortunately, distractions naturally annoy people. But at the same time, no one contradicts our message: No one wants to see their children starve to death within 20 years. Ultimately, everyone supports our demands, even if they disagree with our tactics..

Just Stop Oil vows to continue its shock actions to stay in the public debate.


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