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What is Just Stop Oil? 21 activists arrested during slow-walking protests in London

What is Just Stop Oil? 21 activists arrested during slow-walking protests in London

At least 21 Just Stop Oil protesters were arrested on Monday as the group carried out a wave of slow-walking demonstrations across central London.

Around 200 Just Stop Oil members slow-walked through London during morning rush hour to pressure what they call “the murderous Government” to scrap all new licences for oil and gas exploration.

Footage posted on Twitter shows the group disrupting traffic on Marylebone Road and Cromwell Road.

On Friday, two Just Stop Oil protesters also disrupted the First Night of the Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The pair briefly mounted the stage and unfurled an orange banner before quickly being escorted off stage by security.

A couple of hours later, a few minutes into the airing of Channel 4’s comedy talk show The Last Leg, three activists wearing Just Stop Oil T-shirts ran on to the set and handed hi-vis orange vests to the programme’s stars.

It’s likely that you’ve heard a lot about the Just Stop Oil group’s protests over the past year, with its activism leading to multiple arrests and more than 70 activists facing criminal charges.

The group has targeted a number of events this year, including the Ashes, Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix, and the Chelsea Flower Show.

Last year, several activists glued themselves to the frame of a Van Gogh painting in London’s Courtauld Gallery.

While Just Stop Oil’s stunts have evoked plenty of anger from sports fans and the public — as several of their protests have disrupted roads and interrupted journeys to matches, airports, and other destinations — others believe they should be getting more support for their causes.

From what they’re hoping to achieve to when the group was founded, here’s everything you need to know about the group.

What is Just Stop Oil?

Just Stop Oil was founded in April 2022, and the group has staged several protests since.

The climate-activist organisation is formed of several groups, with organisers from Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain at the helm.

Its website states: “Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups working together to ensure the Government commits to halting new fossil-fuel licensing and production.

What are Just Stop Oil’s goals?

While the name is a key giveaway, Just Stop Oil has a number of objectives to put an end to new licensing and “consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK”.

The group is also demanding that the Government stops all new oil and gas projects.

The website says: “Allowing the extraction of new oil and gas resources in the UK is an obscene and genocidal policy that will kill our children and condemn humanity to oblivion. It just has to stop.

“If we continue down our current path, it will destroy families and communities. We will face the starvation and the slaughter of billions of the poor – and the utter betrayal of our children and their future.

“Does our government get this? They are actively enabling the fossil-fuel industry through obscene subsidies and tax breaks for new fossil-fuel extraction.

“They are wasting billions supporting unicorn technologies, such as carbon capture and storage projects, which provide a fig leaf for business-as-usual to continue. There has been no rapid and sweeping social change, no widespread adoption of low-carbon technology, no war-style mobilisation.

“The choice: rapid transition to a low-energy and low-carbon world, or social collapse. We can do it now, in an orderly manner – creating millions of proper skilled jobs and protecting the rights of workers in sunset industries – or we wait for the unavoidable collapse.”

Where have Just Stop Oil members protested recently?

On Friday, July 14, a pair of Just Stop Oil protestors invaded the stage at the First Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

On the same day, protestors ran onto the set of Channel 4’s The Last Leg, handing orange hi-vis jackets to the show’s stars.

Earlier this month, protestors also halted play twice at Wimbledon, throwing confetti on to the grass during British number one Katie Boulter’s first-round match against Australian Daria Saville.

Three Just Stop Oil protesters have been charged with aggravated trespass after a pitch invasion at Lord’s during the second Ashes test last month.

England cricketer Jonny Bairstow was seen carrying an activist wearing a Just Stop Oil T-shirt off the pitch as other protestors released orange powder onto the field.