‘Pick a side’: Just Stop Oil stages ‘slow march’
ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners were out in force in Reading on Saturday, ahead of further protests in London next week.
More than 30 activists from Just Stop Oil (JSO) took part in a slow march through the town centre showing objection for the continued development of oil and gas-based energy projects and fossil fuel licences.
The action is arguing that advice from the United Nations and the International Energy Agency, among others, recommends the immediate cessation of oil and gas projects.
Slow marches are a deliberately disruptive practice, but entirely legal as a form of protest, with participants also handing out leaflets and carrying banners.
Protesters were also changing the discourse around fossil fuels, as JSO says people must: “pick a side”.
Statements released by the organisation read: “Either you are actively supporting civil resistance, fighting of your life, or you are complicit with genocide.”
Activists were joined by a sister protest in Cambridge, with further protests planned for a weekend of disruption in London.
Extinction Rebellion is set to protest outside the Houses of Parliament this week, of which Just Stop Oil has said they will be a part.
They will follow up with their own protest on Monday, where participants will again take part in another slow march through the capital.
Jamie, who took part in the slow march in Reading, said: “In the 1980s, the Conservative government closed the coal mines, deeming them too expensive to run and plunging the masses into poverty.
“Now, in a time of soaring energy bills, there is a new coal mine being forced upon us – this is the actions of a greed driven genocidal government and we in Just Stop Oil will do everything non-violently possible to stand in their way.
“It’s time to choose sides, between those who want to ensure a future for the next generation and those who have decided to pursue its destruction.”
Eighty-year-old Bill Yates was also among those taking part in the protest and said:
“As the birthplace of the
Industrial Revolution, the UK has historically contributed disproportionately to greenhouse gas emissions.
“[It] should therefore immediately stop adding to the catastrophic consequences of climate change, which are already being felt across the world.
He explained: “I make my protest on behalf of my own six grandchildren, and all the grandchildren on the planet.”
Just Stop Oil began campaigning in April last year, garnering public attention after a number of high-profile protests which have seen more than 2,000 JSO activists arrested, and more than 130 jailed.
■ More information about Just Stop Oil is available online via: juststopoil.org