Just Stop Oil have again closed the M25 in protest at the government decision to issue over 100 new licences for North Sea oil and gas exploration.
Keir Starmer has disgracefully condemned Just Stop Oil as “arrogant” and said they should “just stop” and “go home.”
“I’m opposed to what you’re doing, it’s not the way to deal with the climate crisis.”Keir Starmer via Twitter
Sarah Montague made a similar argument on the BBC Radio 4 World at One yesterday. She suggested that JSO should be writing letters, lobbying and standing for office if they really wanted to change things. Important discussions were being held at COP27 and JSO’s actions were a distraction.
JSO spokesperson, Alex De Koning answered her plainly. Climate change activists have been pursuing legal and peaceful means of protest and campaigning for 50 years. Now, as the General Secretary of the United Nations had said yesterday, we were heading for a climate disaster in which millions would suffer. The government does not need to wait for COP27 to act. Its own actions are criminal, breaching the pledges it made at COP26 and making a mockery of climate change targets.
When challenged that JSO’s own actions were criminal, De Koning agreed. But said it was a proportional response to the scale of the crisis. This year’s droughts had cut the UK potato crop by half and wheat production by a third. Our fruit and veg industry was facing collapse next year.
Then he turned the question round and asked what Sarah Montague was doing about climate change with her massive platform on the BBC. He pointed out that worldwide deaths from carbon related air pollution were higher than the combined total for malaria, HIV and TB.
And when it came to relying on COP the final statement from COP26 never even mentioned oil and gas. We’ve had enough words. Then he quoted Rishi Sunak speaking at COP27.
When you see 33 million people displaced in Pakistan with disease rife and spreading through the water, you know it is right to honour our promises.
Except that Sunak has dishonoured his promises by allowing more drilling for gas and oil in the North Sea.
Since the campaign began in April there have been over 2,000 arrests. In the last four weeks the police have made over 700 arrests, including 25 on Monday and 15 on Tuesday. Fifteen supporters are currently in prison after ten more were remanded in custody on Tuesday.
Just Stop Oil is promising that,
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.Just Stop Oil Press Release 08/11/2022
Unlike Starmer, we at Critical Mass have no difficulty in affirming our full support for Just Stop Oil and applaud their courage and dedication.