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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Protesters block 10 oil terminals as UK 'doubles down' on fossil fuel expansion

Protesters block 10 oil terminals as UK 'doubles down' on fossil fuel expansion

Climate change protesters blocked 10 British oil terminals near London, Birmingham and Southampton on Friday, with some supporters climbing on top of oil tankers.
Extinction Rebellion, which caused days of traffic chaos in central London three years ago, and another group Just Stop Oil organised the protests.

Just Stop Oil says it is a coalition of groups working together to bring an end to exploration, development and production of fossil fuels.

"I don’t want to be doing this but our genocidal government gives me no choice," says Louis McKecknie, one of the people taking part in the protest.

She claims that the government knows oil is funding "Putin's war" and pushing millions of people into fuel poverty while energy companies "reap billions in profits".

"They know that to allow more oil and gas extraction in the UK is suicidal and will accelerate global heating. It means millions dying of heat stress, losing their homes or having to fight for food."

Police said they were dealing with three incidents in the county of Essex, just east of London, and six people were arrested.

The protests come ahead of the government's new energy strategy next week, which is expected to boost its domestic supplies to shield the country from a surge in prices caused by Russia invading Ukraine.

The UK has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 but these plans have come under pressure due to the war in Ukraine. After announcing that imports of Russian oil and gas would be phased out by the end of 2022, the government has said it will now have to increase domestic production of fossil fuels.

Just Stop Oil says that the action comes "amid a series of cascading crises" including the war in Ukraine, cost of living increases and news that the climate breakdown is happening much faster than expected.

"However, while these events should prompt an emergency response to reduce UK dependence on oil and gas, the government is doubling down on drilling for new oil and gas," the group said in a statement.

Earlier this month, a Premier League soccer match was also held up for several minutes after a protestor wearing a jersey with the words "Just Stop Oil" tied himself to the goal post.

The 21-year-old activist, Louis, interrupted play for seven minutes at the Emirates Stadium.

"It was the most terrifying act I’ve ever taken. Sitting in the stadium feeling the energy of the crowd, I very nearly didn’t follow through."

After looking at the faces of the fans, he says he knew he had to take action.

"These people have been betrayed by their leaders and their government and I felt a moral duty to give them a fighting chance."

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