A group of people hoping to stop environmental destruction in the United Kingdom blocked roads in London and glued themselves to the tarmac on the 15th day of disruption in the British capital.
Just after 12 noon local time, 29 members of Just Stop Oil disrupted traffic Shoreditch High Street in London, on the fifteenth day of action demanding that the British government halts all new oil and gas licensing and approvals.
A day later, 14 people walked onto Park Lane, a four lane road running beside Hyde Park in London, where they sat down in the road with banners and glued themselves to the tarmac while one of their group sprayed an Aston Martin car showroom with orange paint.
Tomorrow, it is expected that someone will do something equally outlandish because more ordinary attempts to influence government action have proved fruitless at stopping projects that will increase the destruction of our planet’s capacity to sustain life.
Just Stop Oil is a UK-based coalition of climate groups that are “working together to ensure that the government commits to ending all new licenses and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.”
The activists established a roadblock on Shoreditch High Street at the junction of Great Eastern Street, by sitting in the road with banners and gluing themselves to the tarmac.
“Yesterday Just Stop Oil supporters threw soup over Van Gogh’s Sunflowers on display in the National Gallery and paint over the Metropolitan Police’s iconic New Scotland Yard sign,” said a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil. “We accept that both these actions have upset and provoked many people, as will the disruption caused by today’s road block.”
“But our art, culture and the rule of law is threatened. Our heritage, rights and freedoms are being destroyed by our government’s lies and the failure of politics, and right now millions of people are facing this brutal impact of climate change. Yet our government is seeking to expand fossil fuel production,” said the spokesperson.
“Ending new oil and gas is a no-brainer first step to ending the harm, the government can at least end the disruption on the streets tomorrow, by announcing this policy,” said the spokesperson. “They have changed their mind on everything else.”
Just Stop Oil supporters have been making their demands known outside Downing Street every day in October and the lastest actions follow two weeks of continuous disruption by individuals who have experienced over 403 arrests.
On Friday, there were 28 arrests of Just Stop Oil supporters, who blocked roads outside New Scotland Yard and spray painted the sign as well as two young women who threw soup over Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
Since the campaign began on April 1st, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested over 1,700 times, with five members of the group currently in prison.
“This is not a one day event, expect us every day and anywhere,” said the spokesperson. “This is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project.’
“Our supporters will be returning – today, tomorrow and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met: no new oil and gas in the UK,” said the spokesperson.
Just Stop Oil contends that arrests, changes to the law, and injunctions are irrelevant when set against mass starvation, slaughter, the loss of our rights, freedoms and communities that will result if global leaders continue to ignore the deadly consequences of global warming.
“Stand with our supporters in prison, with the 1,700 murdered across the global south, for protecting our futures,” said the spokesperson. “We will not die silently, it will be ordinary people, like you, your friends, colleagues and neighbors who do what our government cannot. It will take all of us.”
There is no comparable movement in the United States seeking to force action on the deadly consequences of unchecked climate change.
Recent legislation enacted by President Joe Biden will probably have a negligible impact on the overall problem, since it lacks adequate investment in new solar technology and allows continued development of fossil fuel resources.
Americans are tired of bearing the burden of our dependence on a volatile, unpredictable oil market controlled primarily by foreign dictators and geopolitical adversaries.
It’s time for new, innovative solutions to keep bringing prices down, like developing safe, clean and renewable energy alternatives but the only sane people in the world are taking what seem to crazy action because virtually everybody in authority is out of their mind.