After an intense month of action in October, a series of blockades of roads and motorways 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 again to the members of the government the possibility of reconsidering their responsibilities towards this country. It’s now Just Stop Oil supporters who enforce law and order [au Royaume-Uni] and which protect civil society”the formation reported a few days ago.
Formed in December 2021, 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 allocation of new oil and gas exploitation licenses in the North Sea (a hundred are in the process of being allocated), that it cease all energy subsidies fossil fuels and that it establishes a substantial “windfall tax”, a tax on the superprofits of companies exploiting fossil fuels.
Like Extinction Rebellion or Animal Rebellion, Just Stop Oil promotes civil disobedience and peaceful action: many of its activists assume the risk of being arrested by the police for disturbing public order, and even of being sentenced to from prison. As of November 9, sixteen collective activists were in detention and nearly 2,000 people have been arrested by the police since November 1.er april.
Just Stop Oil started getting noticed in early 2022 by blocking fuel depots in the south of 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 of the place. 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 country” to influence government decisions. He had already spent six weeks in a prison in East London, 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, attaching himself by the neck to the goal post during the match. This action again landed him six weeks in prison this summer.
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