Just Stop Oil are once again hitting the headlines over a string of protests – including climbing to the top of a bridge over the River Thames, throwing soup over a Van Gogh masterpiece and blocking a major route into London.
The group first garnered attention through a series of protests in March, which included one protestor invading the pitch at a football game and tying himself to the goalpost.
Since then, its activists have hit the headlines for gluing themselves to a copy of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” and pouring human faeces over a memorial to Sir Captain Tom Moore.
But, who are Just Stop Oil and what do they want?
Who are Just Stop Oil?
Just Stop Oil are a new protest group working to put pressure on the government to halt future fossil fuel deals.
The group is run by experienced organisers from Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, who have attracted attention in recent years for disruptive protests including gluing themselves to main roads.
In their own words, Just Stop Oil are “a coalition of groups working together to ensure the government commits to halting new fossil fuel licensing and production.”
What do Just Stop Oil want?
The group are calling for the UK government to halt all new fossil fuel licensing and production in order to avoid the potential impacts of climate change.
On their crowdfunding page, the group said: “Allowing the extraction of new oil and gas resources in the UK is an obscene, genocidal policy that will kill our children and condemn humanity to oblivion. It just has to stop.”
They added that the government are “actively enabling the fossil fuel industry through obscene subsidies and tax breaks for new fossil fuel extraction” and warned that their acts of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance would continue until their demands are met.
What protests have they led so far?
In March, Just Stop Oil protestors disrupted football games by gluing and tying themselves to goalposts and stormed the Baftas by banging drums and letting of flares.
In April, members of the group teamed up with Extinction Rebellion to block entrances to oil facilities across the UK and damaging petrol pumps which led to multiple arrests.
They also glued themselves to famous paintings by J. M. W. Turner and Van Gogh in Manchester and London and stormed the track during the British Grand Prix.
The group has embarked on a month of action, vowing to cause disruption through protests throughout the month of October.
Two protesters scaled the Queen Elizabeth II bridge over the Dartford Crossing on Monday, causing miles of traffic as police shut down the route. The activists have vowed to stay suspended on the bridge until the government vows to end all new oil and gas licenses.
Its activists also threw soup over a government building on Monday.
Regarding their methods of protests, Just Stop Oil say: “Civil resistance is a powerful way for people to non-violently demand their rights, freedom, and justice.
When people wage non-violent civil resistance, they use tactics such as strikes, boycotts, mass protests and disruption to withdraw their co-operation from the state.”
The group have warned that their protests will continue until their demand is met by the UK government.
Who funds Just Stop Oil?
On its website, the group says most of its funding for recruitment, training, capacity building and education comes from the Climate Emergency Fund, which pools together donations to support disruptive activism.
“We also receive donations from members of the public who support the campaign and from foundations and groups who are as terrified as we are about the unfolding climate crisis,” it adds.