Activists Block UK Parliament And Demand No New Oil
With the new UK Licensing Round coming fast, around 60 supporters of Just Stop Oil have disrupted traffic in Westminster for the fourth day in a row to demand an end to new oil and gas.
The group asked for no new oil outside Downing Street and in Parliament Square where they established roadblocks on all four sides by sitting on the road.
The actions this month were timed to coincide with the planned launch of a new round of oil and gas licensing by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) in which over 100 new licenses for oil and gas projects are likely to be awarded.
The NSTA’s chief executive has already stated that several gas projects in the southern North Sea would be fast-tracked. According to Just Stop Oil, this will do nothing to reduce the UK’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.
Just Stop Oil’s occupation of Westminster also comes against a background of an energy price hike on October 1 which means almost 8 million households are expected to fall into what the activists called ‘fuel poverty’ by April 1, 2023. The activists further claimed that while fuel poverty will become a new reality for the UK people, energy companies would make massive profits. They also accused the Prime Minister of having no plan to deal with the crisis.
“When asked why I would risk my future with arrest and a criminal record, I always reply: what future? If I don’t take peaceful action to demand change, I don’t see a future for myself or people of my generation,” Anna Holland, Just Stop Oil activist and student at Newcastle University, said.
“I’m a supporter of Just Stop Oil because as a business owner I won’t have business left unless we pressure our government to stop all new oil and gas, invest in renewables, and roll out insulation. The solution to the energy crisis and the climate crisis is the same – we’re at a crossroads. The government must make the right choice. As a business owner of over 40 years, I’ve seen a lot of challenges, but the climate and energy crisis are the most important issues of our time,” Alan Woods, Just Stop Oil activist and company director from Wigan, added.
“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. We do this because it is the right thing to do and so we have a duty, a responsibility to continue,” Just Stop Oil said in a statement.
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