The UN Secretary General said last week that:
“We owe a debt to young people…for sounding the alarm and holding leaders accountable.”
And yet, two young non-violent climate activists say they have been strip-searched by UK police after being arrested in connection with continuing Just Stop Oil protests at oil refineries and distribution centres across the south east of England.
The group want a commitment from the government that they will not grant any new oil exploration licences, instead using up the plentiful existing reserves while making a rapid and just transition to alternative non-carbon emitting energy sources.
The recent third working group report, part of the IPCC Sixth Assessment, raises the starkest warning yet of the multiple dangers to humanity, civilisation and the natural world, unless we leave the oil in the ground and treat this as a ‘Code Red’ emergency.
The UN General Secretary António Guterres amplified this message in his address last week, with an explicit statement that “investing in new oil infrastructure is moral and economic madness.” He also said that climate protesters are sometimes portrayed as dangerous radicals, but that “the really dangerous radicals are the countries which are increasing the production of fossil fuels”. The UK’s new Energy Security Strategy does precisely that, promising a new lease of life for our North Sea oil fields.
Despite her traumatic experience, Cat, 19, was back at Gray’s oil terminal this morning on the tenth day of actions by hundreds of Just Stop Oil protesters, and said:
“I’m here in solidarity with the millions of people dying right now from the climate crisis, particularly in the global south and for the 6.5 million households who have been plunged into fuel poverty in this country while the oil companies make billions in profits and for all young people whose futures are being destroyed. We will not stand for it.”
Just Stop Oil hold nightly zoom meetings open to the public for further information and to find out how to get involved.
Police widespread use of strip-search was brought starkly into light recently by the revelations contained in a report on Child Q in Hackney. Police have strip-searched more than 170,000 people in the past five years and official figures show a massive racial imbalance – read Real Media’s full article and watch our film report.