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EnvironmentJust Stop Oil Activist From Wigan Found Guilty of Disruption While Being...

Just Stop Oil Activist From Wigan Found Guilty of Disruption While Being Forbidden From Mentioning Climate Breakdown in His Defence

A Wigan Just Stop Oil Supporter has been found guilty of disrupting a central London road. The group is demanding that the government halt licensing and consents for the development of any new UK fossil-fuel projects.

Alan Woods has been fined £900, inclusive of costs and court fees. He appeared before Judge Law at Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday, answering the charge of Wilful Obstruction of the Highway in relation to peacefully blocking Charing Cross Road near Leicester Square on 29th October 2022.

In what Just Stop Oil supporters and other rights organisations see as an increasingly hard line taken by the judiciary in silencing defendants, Mr Woods was forbidden from discussing his motivations for causing disruption, with no mention of the climate and cost of living crises permitted by the judge.

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said:

“Once again, good people are being silenced from telling the whole truth in court. Recently, an Insulate Britain supporter was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for simply mentioning the climate crisis during their trial! If you were accused of any other crime you would be allowed to discuss your motivations.”

“Instead, some judges are choosing to criminalise good citizens, who are using the only options available to them to sound the alarm, whilst the corrupt political and corporate classes are allowed to carry out morally reprehensible, and frankly murderous activity, unimpeded.”

Alan Woods, 58, a company director from Wigan said:

“We were demanding that the UK government does not licence any further oil and gas projects. I’ve written to my MP, signed petitions, gone on marches and every time we are ignored. The government is progressing over 100 new licences for oil, gas and now, astonishingly in 2023, coal!”

“This is a death sentence for future generations and is affecting the world around us right now. The food shortages we are already seeing in supermarkets this past week, will be followed by widespread crop failures and mass migration within my lifetime. Civil resistance is all I have left.”

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign launched on the 14th February 2022, there have been over 2,000 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison, many without trial. There are currently two Just Stop Oil supporters and one Insulate Britain supporter in prison whilst awaiting trial or serving sentences for actions taken with the campaigns.

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said:

“We stand with these three supporters in prison, with the 1,800 victims of our broken criminal justice system, imprisoned for over a year without trial and with the 1,700 murdered across the global south, for protecting all our lives. [4] [5]. This is the moment for us to come together and resist the destruction of everything we love, something that is being imposed on us by a few, who only seek to enrich themselves. We’re done with begging. We are going to stop new fossil fuel projects whether those in power agree or not. As citizens, parents and children, we have every right under British law to protect ourselves and those we love. We are the last generation who can solve this. Will you step up? Join us and Just Stop Oil.”

Olivia McHugh
Olivia McHugh
Staff writer
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