Who is Just Stop Oil? All we know about climate crisis protest group as demonstrations return

Protest group inspired by Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain are calling for government to halt any new fossil fuel projects

Zoe Tidman
Monday 28 November 2022 14:55 GMT
Just Stop Oil activists block west London roads in wave of new protests

Just Stop Oil has returned to cause disruption on the streets of London, with protesters marching slowly in front of cars in the capital.

Climate activists with bright orange banners caused delays along roads in Shepherd’s Bush and Westminster on Monday morning, with police warning it was the start of two weeks of disruption planned by the group.

It came weeks after Just Stop Oil protesters caused long delays and road closures along the M25 by climbing on overhead gantries. Before that, the group carried out a month of action in October with protests including blocking busy roads, pouring human faeces over a memorial to Sir Captain Tom Moore and spraying orange paint over buildings.

Just Stop Oil have marched slowly along roads in London (Just Stop Oil)

The group first garnered attention through a series of protests in March, which included one protester invading a football pitch and tying himself to the goalpost.

But, who is Just Stop Oil and what does the group want?

Who is Just Stop Oil?

Just Stop Oil is a protest group working to put pressure on the government to halt future fossil fuel deals.

The group is run by experienced organisers from Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, who have attracted attention in recent years for disruptive protests including gluing themselves to main roads.

In their own words, Just Stop Oil is “a coalition of groups working together to ensure the government commits to halting new fossil fuel licensing and production.”

Just Stop Oil activists target Downing Street in latest protest

What does Just Stop Oil want?

The group is calling for the UK government to halt all new fossil fuel licensing and production in order to avoid the potential impacts of climate change.

On their crowdfunding page, the group said: “Allowing the extraction of new oil and gas resources in the UK is an obscene, genocidal policy that will kill our children and condemn humanity to oblivion. It just has to stop.”

They added that the government is “actively enabling the fossil fuel industry through obscene subsidies and tax breaks for new fossil fuel extraction” and warned that their acts of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance would continue until their demands are met.

Just Stop Oil is calling for an end to all new oil and gas licenses (AP)

What protests have they led so far?

In March, Just Stop Oil protesters disrupted football games by gluing and tying themselves to goalposts and stormed the Baftas by banging drums and letting of flares.

In April, members of the group teamed up with Extinction Rebellion to block entrances to oil facilities across the UK and damaging petrol pumps which led to multiple arrests.

They also glued themselves to famous paintings by J. M. W. Turner and Van Gogh in Manchester and London and stormed the track during the British Grand Prix.

Just Stop Oil protesters scaled overhead gantries along the M25(Just Stop Oil/PA) (PA Media)

The group embarked on a month of action in October, with activists gluing themselves to roads and spraying orange paint over luxury car showrooms, the Bank of England, a fossil fuel lobbyist HQ and other buildings.

Two protesters also scaled the Queen Elizabeth II bridge over the Dartford Crossing, causing miles of traffic as police shut down the route.

Just Stop Oil activists spray orange paint on Bank of England

Activists also poured tomato soup over Van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting. Others threw cake in the face of a King Charles III waxwork statue in Madame Tussauds.

After a short break, Just Stop Oil returned to cause disruption on the M25 in early November. Protesters climbed on overhead gantries for days in a row to cause long delays on the motorway.

The group was back targeting roads in London at the end of the month, marching slowly in front of cars in the capital.

Two activists sprayed orange paint over the front of 55 Tufton Street in Westminster (Just Stop Oil)

Regarding their methods of protests, Just Stop Oil say: “Civil resistance is a powerful way for people to non-violently demand their rights, freedom, and justice.

When people wage non-violent civil resistance, they use tactics such as strikes, boycotts, mass protests and disruption to withdraw their co-operation from the state.”

The group has warned that their protests will continue until their demand is met by the UK government.

Police removed protesters down from M25 gantries in a protest in early November (PA)

Who funds Just Stop Oil?

On its website, the group says most of its funding for recruitment, training, capacity building and education comes from the Climate Emergency Fund, which pools together donations to support disruptive activism.

“We also receive donations from members of the public who support the campaign and from foundations and groups who are as terrified as we are about the unfolding climate crisis,” it adds.

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