Just Stop Oil: What is it and what are its goals? – BBC

Just Stop Oil has hit the headlines in recent months after a series of protests.
The group is campaigning for more action on climate change but their tactics, which include blocking busy motorways, have faced criticism.
Just Stop Oil is an environmental activist group founded after Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, with organisers from both at the helm.
The movement first came to attention following a series of protests in March. This included pitch invasions at several Premier League football grounds, with one activist tying himself to a goalpost.
There have been other notable protests since then, including disruption at oil terminals and on some of the country's busiest motorways.
The group wants the government to halt new licences for the exploration of oil and other fossil fuels in the UK.
It describes itself as "a coalition of groups working together to ensure the government commits to halting new fossil fuel licensing and production."
The government plans to license more than 100 new oil and gas projects by 2025.
Unlike Extinction Rebellion, which campaigns on the single big issue of climate change, Just Stop Oil's protests have a more specific focus.
As well as calling for an end to fossil fuels, the group also wants renewable energy investment and for better building insulation to avoid energy waste.
In the past few months, protesters from Just Stop Oil have thrown soup at Van Gogh's Sunflowers at the National Gallery, attempted to disrupt the British Grand Prix and caused the closure of the M25 with a series of demonstrations.
Like Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, Just Stop Oil activists claim to be willing to use "non-violent civil resistance" to make their point in public spaces.
According to Just Stop Oil, its supporters have been arrested nearly 2,000 times since April, with five of their supporters currently in prison.
Put simply – no.
The maximum penalty for the wilful obstruction of a highway is 51 weeks in prison. Offenders can also receive a fine.
The government is also trying to put through new legislation to crack down on these types of protest.
The Public Order Bill would grant new powers to prosecute someone who interferes with the operation or use of key national infrastructure in England and Wales – whether on the roads, railways, or air transport infrastructure.
High Court injunctions have been sought by several transport bodies, including National Highways and Transport for London, to prevent protesters disrupting major roads.
Those in breach of an injunction can be held in contempt of court and could face imprisonment, an unlimited fine and seizure of assets.
But activists point to a Supreme Court ruling in 2021 which found there should be a "certain degree of tolerance to disruption to ordinary life, including the disruption of traffic" caused by non-violent protest.
Dealing with these protests is proving very difficult for the authorities, despite arrests and court action. Just Stop Oil has said it will demonstrate "every day" until the group's demand for no new oil and gas in the UK is met.
The M25 was disrupted after protesters climbed gantries at multiple locations in November.
Part of the road was shut for the "safety of everyone involved" Surrey Police said.
Former Metropolitan Police traffic sergeant Mike Rawson agrees that closures are necessary in such situations:
"It's a health and safety issue. The police cannot risk a demonstrator falling from the gantry and onto a vehicle beneath".
According to its website, most of the funding for Just Stop Oil comes from the Climate Emergency Fund – a US network set up in 2019 to fund climate activism.
The Climate Emergency Fund, is in turn part-funded by Aileen Getty, a US philanthropist whose grandfather was petroleum tycoon J Paul Getty.
Videos on social media over the past few months have shown irate motorists stopped from driving by Just Stop Oil activists sitting in the road.
Recent disruption at several points along the M25 motorway was described as "completely outrageous" by Business Secretary Grant Shapps.
"Don't go disrupting other people's lives," he said during an interview with LBC.
The Metropolitan Police said it had dedicated more than 10,000 officer shifts to policing Just Stop Oil protests since the start of October.
"These are officers who would otherwise be dealing with issues that matter to local communities, such as knife crime, safeguarding and responding to burglaries," Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist said.
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