Just Stop Oil is organizing a month-long series of protests in London.

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman issued a stark warning this week to direct action protesters who are using “guerrilla tactics” to bring “chaos and misery” to society.

“If you just cut off oil, isolate Britain or rebel against extinction, you’re breaking a line when you’re breaking the law, and that’s why we’re going to keep putting you behind bars,” she said.

Braverman’s threat came as coalition group Just Stop Oil, which wants to end fossil fuel licensing and production, launched a month-long series of protests in central London.

Dozens were arrested this week for blocking roads and bridges after similar protests led to gridlock on Britain’s motorways. oil refineries and saw damaged gas pumps.

Two Greenpeace protesters interrupted a speech by Prime Minister Liz Truss on Wednesday, accusing the government of failing to meet its commitments to cut fossil fuel use and ban fracking.

Truss said Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion were part of an “anti-growth coalition” with trade unions and the main opposition Labor Party decided to derail it economic reforms.

“The fact is that they prefer to protest than to act. They prefer conversations on Twitter to making tough decisions,” she told the Conservative Party conference.

But activists insist they are also taking steps to highlight climate emergencywhich has been blamed for pushing temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in Britain for the first time this year

Home Affairs Minister Suella Braverman has warned that the government will crack down on protest groups using 'guerrilla tactics'

Home Affairs Minister Suella Braverman has warned that the government will crack down on protest groups using ‘guerrilla tactics’

In London this week, threats of arrest — and future tougher laws — failed to deter protesters, many of whom took time off work and traveled from outside London.

“I’m ready to be arrested because the thought of total social destruction is so much worse,” retail worker Theresa Higginson, 24, who locked herself on another protester through a metal pipe as they blocked a road in Trafalgar Square, told AFP. Thursday.

“We don’t want to do that,” added animal rights activist Gemma Barnes, 32. – We don’t want to be here.

“But they (the government) have left us no other choice. At this point, we believe that the only way to effect change is through civil resistance.”

“They didn’t do anything”

Direct action protests against climate change, led by Extinction Rebellion and allied groups, have increased in the UK in recent years.

Insulate Britain, which campaigns for more energy-efficient homes, first came to public attention when it blocked London’s busy M25 orbital motorway last year.

Just Stop Oil protesters attempted to disrupt an English Premier League soccer match by tying themselves to goal posts and taking to the track at Silverstone during the Formula 1 British Grand Prix.

Previous protests have included attempts to disrupt an English Premier League football match

Previous protests have included attempts to disrupt an English Premier League football match.

Activists plastered the frames of famous artworks in galleries across Britain and targeted the red carpet at the BAFTA awards.

The right-wing tabloid press regularly labels the protesters “eco-anarchists” and “eco-enthusiasts.”

But protesters in London this week said they were far from stereotypical activists.

Instead, they said they were normal people expressing public concern climate change in Britain and around the world and “terror” about the future.

“It’s a luxury for us to be able to ignore it, to get on with our daily lives,” said former art school librarian Emma Brown, 30, referring to the recent devastating floods in Pakistan.

Pensioner Chris Welsh, 69, said the police called in to deal with the protests were sympathetic and polite, giving them several opportunities to leave the roadblocks before they moved in to arrest them.

“They treat us with respect and we treat them with respect. They understand that they may have to deal with food insecurity and civil unrest in the coming years,” she added.

“It’s the least I can do for future generations,” she said.

Activists also plastered famous works of art in galleries

Activists also plastered famous works of art in galleries.

A new government public order bill is going through parliament, which proposes to criminalize “blockade” tactics and ban obstruction of major transport works.

Just Stop Oil has compared itself to the suffragettes campaigning for women’s votes, Nelson Mandela’s fight against apartheid and the Russians opposing the war in Ukraine.

“It doesn’t scare us. Now oil is killing people,” the report says.

Gabriela Ditto, a 28-year-old mobilizer for the group, told onlookers at the checkpoint Thursday that they had no choice.

“Before we got to that point, we sent out some petitions, we sent out some scathing letters and we wrote to our MPs,” she said.

– And they didn’t do anything.

Research shows that Extinction Rebellion activists are more likely to be new to protesting

© 2022 AFP

Citation: UK Climate Protesters Undeterred Despite Government Threats (2022, October 7) Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-uk-climate-protesters- undeterred-govt.html

This document is subject to copyright. Except in good faith for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.