Just Stop Oil Protests

Subject: Environment
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 901
Topics: Activism, Climate Change, Government
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The Just Stop Oil campaign is a campaign that somebody established to protest against the extraction of natural oil and gas resources within the UK. The UK government has placed various subsidies and tax relief on the extraction of new fossil fuels, a move that has seen an increase in the excavation of fossil fuels (Just Stop Oil, 2022). The Just Stop Oil campaign is opposed to this idea, and its members feel that allowing fossil fuel extraction is a genocidal effort that puts the lives of children and their families at risk. Furthermore, the organization alleges that the government is wasting millions of money through its investments in storage projects and carbon capture, which are among the aspects that have contributed to the increase in the exploitation of fossil fuels (Just Stop Oil, 2022). The organization wants the government to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and instead make massive investments in renewable and clean energy. It also wants the government to eliminate the subsidies it introduced on fossil fuels (Just Stop Oil, 2022). Just Stop Oil has used innovative protest methods that have brought to the public the dangers of fossil fuels, but these strategies have negatively affected the course of the organization.

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Application of Different Protests Creating Awareness of Clean Energy

Many people did not know about the Just Stop Oil campaign despite its various attempts to bring attention to the public concerning its plight. The campaign gained international headlines on the 20th of March 2022 when three protestors tried blocking premier league matches (BBC, 2022). The first incident was in the Emirates stadium when two of their protesters tried to invade the football pitch but ended up being intercepted. The second attempt was a little more successful when one protester ran to the field in Goodison stadium and cabled himself to a goalpost wearing a shirt written: “Just Stop Oil” (BBC, 2022). This act was televised on different media stations worldwide, prompting the organization to focus on the strategy. One protestor wearing the same shirt also invaded Molineux stadium. Finally, on the 24th, six supporters attempted to disrupt a football match at Tottenham stadium (BBC, 2022). These field invasions made the world aware of the organization and its plight, and in the process, many people started to join the group.

The next stage of the protests involved blocking ten oil facilities. This move aimed to cut the petrol supply to the Southern parts of England. The protesters surrounded oil tankers in different parts of London, and this caused significant congestion (BBC, 2022). These planned blockages were followed by an attempt to disrupt the British Grand Prix. The protesters walked onto the pitch when the race was on a break and went on to sit on the tarmac. One of the most recent tactics that the organization has employed is the art gallery protests. In July 2022, the organization targeted different artworks in public galleries (BBC, 2022). Some supporters glued themselves to The Last Supper’s painting to make their voices heard.

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Negative Effect of the Just Stop Oil Protests

Just Stop Oil has made its presence felt and highlighted the need for clean energy, but its methods have greatly damaged its course. The activists’ dilemma is an experiment that was carried out to understand the best course of action for protesters (Feinberg et al., 2020). One of the concerns was that the actions of activists might lead to a negative reflection among the citizens based on what they read from the news outlets regarding the protests (Feinberg et al., 2020). Thus, an appropriate approach to protesting is key to making a movement effective.

In the case of the Just Stop Oil protests, many social media platforms and news outlets have contributed to hurting the course of the organization. For example, the Just Stop Oil protests in London that aimed to block the gas supply created traffic congestion in the streets of London, and two of the blocked vehicles were a fire engine and an ambulance (Sky News, 2022). The prime minister did not receive the action well. In his official spokesperson’s statement, he stated that the UK government would not entertain actions that stop emergency services from saving lives (Sky News, 2022). The prime minister further highlighted that they had authorized the police to stop the protesters from sabotaging efforts to rescue people’s lives.

Many public members further criticized the move by the just stop oil campaign, and an official statement from Mercedes highlighted that they were displeased by how the protestors risked their lives to promote their cause (Saunders, 2022). An observer in the grandstand highlighted to ESPN news that a protestor was on track when the cars drove by (Saunders, 2022). It received negative publicity, and the protesters appeared as putting their lives in danger.

Conclusion

The Just Stop Oil campaign is a movement that a group of people formed to protest against the increase in the use of fossil fuels and promote clean and renewable energy sources. The organization went on to stage a series of protests in art galleries, road blockades, football match protests, and an attack on the British Grand Prix. Despite the organization’s attempts to contribute to public awareness of its plight, its methods have been criticized. For example, there was an incident where their road blockade blocked an ambulance and fire engine. Moreover, the attack on the grand Prix was seen as risking lives. These actions have associated the organization with negative publicity and harmed its course.

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  1. BBC. (2022). BBC question time discusses just stop oils latest protests [Video]. YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMPqUXcOczg&ab_channel=JustStopOil
  2. Feinberg, M., Willer, R., & Kovacheff, C. (2020). The activist’s dilemma: Extreme protest actions reduce popular support for social movements. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology119(5), 1086.
  3. Just Stop Oil. (2022). Campaign background. https://juststopoil.org/background/
  4. Saunders, N. (2022, July 3). Track breached by “Just Stop Oil” protests at British Grand Prix. ESPN. https://www.espn.com/f1/story/_/id/34188481/track-breached-just-stop-oil-protesters-british-grand-prix
  5. Sky News. (2022, October 11). Emergency vehicles blocked by just stop oil protest in West London rush hour. https://news.sky.com/story/emergency-vehicles-blocked-by-just-stop-oil-protest-in-west-london-rush-hour-12717957
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