Following a string of prominent protests, Just Stop Oil has been in the news quite a bit lately.
The group has come under fire for its tactics, which have included blocking major roads while calling for greater action against climate change.
With leaders from both Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain at the helm, Just Stop Oil is an environmental activist group.
After several protests in March 2022, the movement first attracted attention. One activist even tied himself to a goalpost during pitch invasions at several Premier League football stadiums.
Since then, there have been additional notable protests that have caused commotion on some of the busiest roads in the nation and at oil terminals. Major sporting events have also been its targets.
The group is requesting that the UK government stop issuing new exploration permits for oil and other fossil fuels.
According to its self-description, it is "a coalition of groups working together to ensure that the government commits to ceasing new fossil fuel licensing and production.".
By 2025, the government expects to have approved more than 100 new oil and gas projects.
Just Stop Oil's demonstrations have a more narrow focus than those of Extinction Rebellion, which focus on the one major issue of climate change.
The group wants better building insulation, increased investment in renewable energy, and an end to the use of fossil fuels.
In recent months, Just Stop Oil protestors have organized a number of prominent demonstrations. The M25 expressway is among the many of these closed roads.
They have additionally:.
Similar to Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil activists assert that they are prepared to use "non-violent civil resistance" to further their causes in public places.
As soon as the government finds a way to stop the production of fossil fuels, the group claims it will end its protests.
No. 51 weeks in prison is the maximum sentence for wilful obstruction of a highway. Criminal offenders may also be fined.
Injunctions from the High Court have been requested by a number of transportation organizations, including National Highways and Transport for London, to stop protesters from obstructing major roads.
When someone disobeys an injunction, they may be found in contempt of court and subject to punishments like asset forfeiture, jail time, and a fine that is uncapped.
The irate of some drivers who were prevented from driving by Just Stop Oil activists has been captured in a number of social media videos.
Grant Shapps, the business secretary, called the M25 protests "completely outrageous.". He advised LBC to refrain from interfering with other people's lives.
The Metropolitan Police has also drawn attention to the quantity of officer shifts devoted to policing Just Stop Oil demonstrations.
The officers in question, according to Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist, "would otherwise be dealing with issues that matter to local communities, such as knife crime, safeguarding, and responding to burglaries.".
The activists of the group, however, cite a Supreme Court decision from 2021 that stated there should be a "certain degree of tolerance to disruption to ordinary life, including the disruption of traffic," as a result of non-violent protest.
Despite several arrests and legal action, the authorities are having a very difficult time dealing with these protests.
As a result, the government is attempting to pass new anti-protest laws.
With the passage of the Public Order Bill, there would be new legal authority to prosecute anyone interfering with the use or operation of vital national infrastructure in England and Wales, including the roads, railroads, and air transportation systems. .
According to the law as it stands, the police can typically only stop a protest if they can demonstrate that it may cause "serious public disorder, serious damage to property, or serious disruption to the life of the community.".
No. 10 wants the police to have the ability to put an end to a protest before it causes trouble.
However, this suggestion was dropped from the bill by the House of Lords. Additionally, when the bill is brought back before the Commons, ministers cannot add it back in.
Protesters scaled gantries at various points along the M25 in November, causing delays.
For "the safety of everyone involved," a portion of the road was closed, according to Surrey Police.
Former traffic sergeant for the Metropolitan Police Mike Rawson concurs that such closures are required:.
It's a safety and health concern. The risk of a protester falling off the gantry and onto a car below is too great for the police to take.
The Climate Emergency Fund, a US network established in 2019 to finance climate activism, is said to provide the majority of funding for Just Stop Oil, according to the organization's website.
The US philanthropist Aileen Getty, whose grandfather was oil tycoon J Paul Getty, contributes to the Climate Emergency Fund.