Reading Today

‘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: juststopoi­

 ?? Picture: Dijana Capan/DVision Images ?? ON THE MOVE: The Just Stop Oil slow march in Broad Street on Saturday
Picture: Dijana Capan/DVision Images ON THE MOVE: The Just Stop Oil slow march in Broad Street on Saturday

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