A farmer from St Austell was among 61 other West Country Just Stop Oil supporters who brought traffic to a standstill in London’s West End on Monday morning.
Oliver Baines, 72, joined 16 others who slow marched on The Strand for an hour before the police issued a Section 12 and marchers were escorted from the road. Across three different marches there were five arrests, including an 81-year old vicar from Bristol.
These marches come just days after the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said that climate change is “out of control” and that “if we persist in delaying key measures that are needed, I think we are moving into a catastrophic situation.”
Speaking before the march, Baines, whose family are organic livestock farmers and who is also a retired charity director with an OBE for services to rural communities, said:
“To anyone who works on a farm or understands the countryside, the climate crisis is real and here. Change is happening every year, and every year the climate is more unstable. We have to stop our obsession with oil, and stop it now. We are out of time.
“We are taking this action for everyone, you, me, all life on the planet. If we’re going to survive, we have to stop investments in oil immediately. Not tomorrow, not with the next government, not sometime in the future. Right now.”
Baines who says he has “always been a lover of nature and the countryside” gave up flying in 1999 in anger at the lack of government action on climate change. In 2009, he took a rowing gig to Copenhagen for COP15 to deliver a message from Cornwall to the Danish government.
Just Stop Oil supporters have completed up to seven marches a day, six days a week since the 24th April. Over 800 ordinary people from all over the UK have taken part. Including arrests at the Coronation and cultural and sporting events there have been around 235 arrests this year.
Since the Just Stop Oil campaign launched on 14th February 2022, there have been over 2,200 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison, many without trial. Just Stop Oil supporters Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker are serving three-year prison sentences for resisting new oil, gas and coal in the longest sentences for peaceful climate action in British history.
It’s time to pick a side and join in civil resistance to end new oil, gas and coal. We are inviting everyone to come and march with us every day in London from the 16th-23rd July. Sign up for action at juststopoil.org.