Just Stop Oil activists march through Reading

At midday last Saturday, 18 climate campaigners gathered at Forbury Gardens and then marched through the town centre holding banners and chanting “no new oil.”

The campaigners were seen throughout the town centre in Friar Street, the High Street and Hosier Street on Saturday, April 15.

Wren, a University of Reading student who took part in the march said: “I’m marching today because our government refuses to challenge the violence carried out by oil companies.”

Just Stop Oil activists have expressed alarm over the government allowing companies to explore new oil and gas reserves through a licence-bidding process launched in October last year.

Bill Yates, 80, said: I joined the ‘Just Stop Oil’ March in Reading to protest against the NEW Oil and Gas Licenses that are being issued by the UK government.

This action by the government contravenes the call by the Secretary General of the United Nations and the global scientific community, who have said clearly that there should be no new developments of carbon fuels.

“As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the UK has historically contributed disproportionately to greenhouse gas emissions and should therefore immediately stop adding to the catastrophic consequences of climate change, which are already being felt across the world.

“I make my protest on behalf of my own six grandchildren, and all the grandchildren on the planet.”

António Guterres, the Secretary General of the UN has made multiple interventions calling for states to take action on climate change, calling the situation a ‘time bomb’ during a speech in March.

Reading Chronicle: Just Stop Oil campaigners in Hosier Street, Reading. Credit: Christine EssexJust Stop Oil campaigners in Hosier Street, Reading. Credit: Christine Essex

Fellow marcher Jamie expressed concern over the opening of a new coal mine in Cumbria.

He said: “I went to the march because in the 1980s, the Conservative government closed the coal mines, deeming them too expensive to run and plunging the masses into poverty.

Now, in a time of soaring energy bills, there is a new coal mine being forced upon us, despite the fact that renewable energy is scientifically proven to be nine times cheaper!

“Tell me that this government cares about people over profit!

“We’ve been warned by climate scientists that licensing new fossil fuels will not keep us below the 1.5C threshold, which absolutely means no future for us all!! ”

Reading Chronicle: Just Stop Oil campaigners in Hosier Street, Reading. Credit: Christine EssexJust Stop Oil campaigners in Hosier Street, Reading. Credit: Christine Essex

Meanwhile, marcher Christine Essex, from Hermitage, accused the government of ‘committing genocide.’

She said:  “I took part in the march for my 19-year-old son who is a student at the University of Reading, and all young people, who due to the continued burning of fossil fuels, and according to the scientific community, face a future of drought, starvation and social collapse.

“It is truly appalling that young people are having to challenge a corrupt government which is so obviously not doing its job and is also committing genocide.

“Our Government will be held to account in Trials similar to the Nuremberg Trials because the climate criminals, such as the fossil fuel companies, politicians and the media who promote the continued burning of fossil fuels, are guilty of breaking the law which exists to protect human rights, ie Article 30, 2b, on oblique intent, of the International Criminal Court statute.”

The Nuremberg Trials were the judicial hearings where prominent leaders in Nazi Germany were sentenced for crimes against humanity after World War 2.

Leaders sentenced at the trials included Hermann Göring, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Rosenburg and Julius Streicher. 

The Just Stop Oil group are set to hold a welcome talk at The Purple Turtle in Gun Street at 7pm on Sunday, April 30.

Reading Chronicle | Town Centre