Just Stop Oil activist arrested for posting a letter through MP’s door

  • Post last modified:March 15, 2024
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Two Just Stop Oil activists have both faced the law being an ass – after one was nicked for posting a letter through a Labour MP’s door, while another was denied bail for peacefully blocking a court house.

Just Stop Oil: arrested for going to someone’s house

First, a Just Stop Oil supporter has been arrested after delivering a letter to Islington South MP, Emily Thornberry. The letter included a request that Thornberry commits to leaving the Labour Party if, within six months after forming a government, Labour fails to revoke all Tory oil licenses granted since 2021.

At around 2:15pm on Thursday 14 March, Phoebe Plummer and Rosa Hicks delivered a letter to the home of Thornberry. After peacefully dropping the letter off, Plummer was arrested by the Metropolitan police for breach of bail conditions preventing them from going to an MP’s residence. It comes after they protested outside Rishi Sunak’s home in 2023.

Just Stop Oil has committed to a strategy of nonviolent visits to the homes of MPs who have ignored their communications by other means.

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson commented:

It is important to acknowledge that we all deserve safety in our homes, but right now all of our homes and our families are in danger. We are asking those with power to speak up and make a stand against the continued drilling of new oil and gas that is endangering all of us.

Hicks said:

I’m reaching out to Emily Thornberry because it is desperately important that our leaders understand the severity of the situation we find ourselves in, and that they act accordingly. In times of crisis, people of conscience must use whatever leverage they have to stand in the way of injustice.

Emily has power and we are asking her to step up and use her position to protect her constituents by ensuring that Labour does the right thing by canceling all Tory licenses granted after 2021.

Recently, Just Stop Oil supporters have delivered similar letters to MPs across the country, including to the home of Keir Starmer and to Annaliese Dodds during a fundraising dinner.

Banged up for blocking some doors

Meanwhile, another Just Stop Oil supporter remains remanded in prison after peacefully blocking the entrance to the Royal Courts of Justice. They took action to demand the UK government halt all licensing and consents for new oil, gas and coal projects, and to highlight the injustice of private injunctions.

On 14 March, Callum Goode was denied bail at Westminster Magistrates Court. Goode has been imprisoned since 6 March for taking peaceful action to resist climate breakdown. They will likely remain remanded in HMP Wandsworth until 16 April.

Goode took action with Tez Burns, blocking the entrance to the Royal Courts of Justice. The pair took action to resist the use of civil injunctions which are being used to silence climate defenders.

Speaking in court Goode said:

I’m being held in prison not because I present a harm to anyone or am a danger to society, but because I refuse to stop being in nonviolent civil resistance.

Why not hold me there for the rest of my life? I’m not going to stop taking action. We are in an urgent crisis and I cannot morally respect bail conditions which prevent necessary action.

I will essentially be serving, through remand, a custodial sentence for something that may not even result in a custodial sentence.

This court does not care about morality, this court is blind and complicit in the face of genocide.

I need to act on the side of life. So if you put me in prison, so be it. You will have stripped me of my power, but I know that there are other people who will fight on.

Michel Forst, the UN special rapporteur on environmental defenders under the Aarhus Convention recently said:

I am deeply troubled at the use of civil injunctions to ban protest in certain areas, including on public roadways… The repression that environmental activists who use peaceful civil disobedience are currently facing in Europe is a major threat to democracy and human rights.

The law is an ass

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said:

Injunctions are private laws bought by corporations and government agencies. Typically they are used to protect someone from harassment, and are intended as a remedy not a punishment, but since the Insulate Britain campaign began, they’ve been increasingly used by the state and private companies to silence dissent by climate resistors.

They are being used to circumnavigate the usual rule of law, where defendants appear before a high court judge with no jury.

They potentially expose defendants to ‘double jeopardy’ for the same action, where they may also be facing criminal charges.

Typically injunctions result in astronomical legal costs which are applied to people named on an injunction, even if they have never broken it. Where defendants are offered an undertaking – which commits them to a certain action – and they choose to sign it, all costs are then divided equally amongst any remaining defendants. This is a divide and rule tactic being used to silence those speaking out about the criminality of politicians and business leaders.

As the world passes tipping points that threaten the breakdown of ordered civilization, world leaders, captured by the interests of oil lobbyists and big business, are failing to protect our communities. British citizens are sick of being led by liars and crooks. Until we stop Tory oil, supporters of Just Stop Oil will continue taking proportionate action to demand necessary change.

Featured image via Just Stop Oil

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