Five supporters of Just Stop Oil were remanded in custody over the Easter weekend and appeared in court on charges related to actions at oil terminals in support of the demand that the UK government end new oil and gas projects in the UK.
Kathryn Dowds, 28, Jake Handling, 27, and Joshua Smith, 29, were charged with aggravated trespass after being arrested during an action at Kingsbury on Friday 15 April.
They were remanded in custody over Easter weekend weekend and appeared at Coventry Magistrates’ Court last week, where they pleaded guilty to the charges and were issued with fines ranging between £150 and £349.
James Skeet, 34, from Manchester, and Stephanie Aylett, 27, from St Albans, who appeared at Chelmsford magistrates on Saturday charged with aggravated trespass and breach of bail conditions, denied the offence and were remanded into custody at Grays police station to appear before the magistrate.
Catherine Maclean, 64 who also appeared on Saturday 16th at Chelmsford pleaded guilty to the charge of aggravated trespass and was ordered to pay a total of £409, including a £270 fine, £105 in court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.
A group of nine Just Stop Oil supporters who appeared at Coventry Magistrates court on Saturday 16 April charged with offences related to actions at the Kingsbury Oil terminal have been released without bail. Six pleaded not guilty, one pleaded guilty and two entered no plea. A case management hearing is due on 15 May.
A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said:
“The courts are complicit in supporting a government that is knowingly fuelling climate breakdown and will have the death of millions on its hands. Just Stop Oil supporters have acted in line with their consciences. Just as the Suffragettes and the Freedom riders did they have chosen not to be bystanders in the face of the catastrophic and ongoing injustice of climate breakdown.
“They are acting to preserve life, to stop the destruction caused by oil and to support ordinary people whose lives are being made a misery by the cost of living crisis. They have each pledged to do what is nonviolently necessary to make our government stop all new oil and gas projects in the UK.”
“Some politicians and media pundits have called Just Stop Oil’s demand and its supporters ‘naive.’ But what is truly naive is the ongoing belief by a political and media establishment that young people will just lay down and die without resisting.
“Supporters of Just Stop Oil of all ages understand that the government that partied through covid lockdowns and is now actively choosing to push millions into poverty and misery is also destroying our future by prioritising drilling for oil over our future food supply, safety and security. Those struggling to get to the end of the week wherever they are, and those in civil resistance for their generation’s future have common cause. Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise.”
Just Stop Oil is calling on all of those whose futures are being destroyed, who are facing poverty now, and who are outraged at yet another betrayal by this continuing dependence on oil and gas, to step up and take action.