Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

European Edition

Climate protesters aim to bring London to a halt – European Edition News – Report by AFR

Slow-moving climate protesters have become a daily sight on London’s streets, undeterred by the honking horns of irate motorists, personal insults and even arrest.

“No more extraction of fossil fuels,” Peter Lippiett shouts through a loudspeaker over the noise of the traffic at one recent demonstration.

Alongside the elderly Anglican vicar are a dozen or so other activists from the Just Stop Oil movement, bringing traffic to a standstill in the British capital.

A man on the pavement makes an obscene gesture towards them as he passes but it takes a lot more to put the protesters off.

Their aim is straightforward: cause as much disruption as possible to publicise their cause and put pressure on the government, even if it means public anger and being detained by the police.

Just Stop Oil has repeatedly hit the headlines with its high-profile direct-action protests, such as disrupting Premier League football matches and sporting events, to publicise their cause.

They have thrown tomato soup on famous paintings and glued themselves to picture frames in galleries.

Less spectacularly, some 150 slow marches have been held since April involving some 600 people.

“Slow marches are more accessible to new joiners,” said Sarah Webb, who has been involved in the movement since the start.

Just Stop Oil wants the government to end all new oil and gas exploration and has promised not to let up in its protests until it does so.

– Ordinary people –

Lippiett, who is in his 70s, sounds like he is giving a church sermon as he rallies the crowd.

“Do you want this to continue? Are you on the side of madness? Because it is madness,” he says.

With his wife, Lippiett began slow marching at the start of this month and has been taking part in up to three slow marches every day.

“We don’t like stopping the traffic. But we are here because we can’t do anything else. We have to,” he added.

“I’m here because the government is issuing new licences for oil and gas in the North Sea,” adds Jason Scott-Warren, 53, a senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge. 

“That’s incompatible with keeping the Paris agreement. It’s a death sentence,” he added, referring to the 2015 UN climate change accord to cut global warming.

Others at the march, not far from Buckingham Palace, include a retired carer, an engineer in a checked shirt, a mental health researcher and a bar worker.

Just Stop Oil describes them as “ordinary people” from 22 to 75 years old.

The response from the police to the marches has become quicker — and more decisive — in recent weeks, with arrests increasing.

Since May, police powers to curb demonstrations have been strengthened, while lawmakers voted this month to lower the threshold for protests deemed to cause a “serious disruption”.

Scott-Warren has been arrested six times and is one of several activists to have been detained more than once.

– Non-violence –

Before participating, new members of Just Stop Oil have to undergo four hours of non-violence training, learn how to deal with irate motorists and prepare for arrest.

“If you’re not ready to agree to non-violence, JSO might not be a good place for you,” participants are told.

Sarah Webb, 51, who spent seven days in prison for protesting before getting involved in slow marches, said she has been sworn at every time.

“That’s not pleasant,” added the education specialist, who has been arrested 15 times.

“But we blocked the oil depots, we protested in front of government buildings, we signed petitions… If you have more brilliant ideas, please come.”

The right-wing media in the UK, which has branded the protesters as “eco zealots”, regularly characterises them as non-conformist extremists.

Despite this, the protests regularly make the front pages of publications such as the Daily Mail.

“At least they put us in the news,” said Webb.

#Climate #protesters #aim #bring #London #halt

You May Also Like


State would join dozens of others in enacting legislation based on federal government’s landmark whistleblower statute, the False Claims Act

press release

With a deep understanding of the latest tech, Erbo helps businesses flourish in a digital world.

press release

#Automotive #Carbon #Canister #Market #Projected #Hit #USD New York, US, Oct. 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —  According to a comprehensive research report by Market...

press release

Barrington Research Analyst James C.Goss reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of IMAX Corp IMAX with a Price target of $20. As theaters...