Just Stop Oil protests: Who are the eco-zealots and what do they want?

As Just Stop Oil targets yet another high-profile event by throwing orange powder at the World Snooker Championship, who are the eco-zealots, what are they demanding and what tactics do they use?

  • Just Stop Oil protester suspended play at World Snooker Championship match
  • Here is everything you need to know about the Just Stop Oil protest group 

Just Stop Oil made headlines yet again after one of their activists stopped play at the World Snooker Championships by throwing orange powder on one of the tables. 

The incident, which occurred during the first round match between Joe Perry and Robert Milkins, led to audible gasps from spectators. 

But this is not the first time Just Stop Oil have disrupted high profile events as the group attempt to make their voices heard. 

So, who are Just Stop Oil? What are they protesting about? Who owns them and what other events have they targeted? 

Read on below for everything you need to know about Just Stop Oil.   

A Just Stop Oil protester jumped on the table, covering it in orange powder, at the World Snooker Championship on 17 April, 2023

Just Stop Oil activists employ a slow march tactic to slow and disrupt traffic at a protest in London in December 2022

Who are Just Stop Oil?

An environmental activist group, Just Stop Oil were founded in February 2022. 

The group has organised protests, many with direct action, in an attempt to force the Government to commit to halting any new licensing or production of fossil fuels. 

The group claims to have taken inspiration from the protest by UK lorry drivers in 2000, which ground petrol distribution to a halt. 

Who owns Just Stop Oil?

Just Stop Oil is a coalition group, describing itself as non-hierarchical. 

As a result, Just Stop Oil shares resources between group members with no single, recognised leader. 

Roger Hallam, the founder of Extinction Rebellion, has reportedly played a major role in Just Stop since its inception.

READ MORE: Brace for a weekend of eco-mayhem: XR fanatics hope 30,000 protesters will descend on London for biggest climate change demo in years as group stages four-day protest over same weekend as Marathon

Mr Hallam has also been heavily involved in previous Insulate Britain protests.  

What are Just Stop Oil protests about?

The group’s key area of focus is the environment. Its website states: ‘Just Stop Oil is a nonviolent civil resistance group demanding the UK Government stop licensing all new oil, gas and coal projects.’

Whilst they have frustrated many civilians through using direct action to block roads and cause disruption, more than 120 top lawyers previously said they would refuse to prosecute them.  

Just Stop Oil claim to be peaceful protesters, but their road protests have been accused of stopping ambulances and fire engines responding to 999 calls. 

What tactics do Just Stop Oil use? 

Just Stop Oil encourages nonviolent direct action and civil resistance. This has often been seen through demonstrators gluing themselves to surfaces. 

Indeed, during the recent protest at the World Snooker Championship, a woman attempted to glue herself to the table before being stopped by the match referee. 

Another popular method of protest by Just Stop Oil activists has been to tie themselves to goalposts at Premier League football matches, with one protester cable-tying himself to a goal post by his neck. 

Just Stop Oil protesters glue themselves to the wall after throwing soup at Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ painting, at the National Gallery in October 2022 

What other events have they targeted? 

Since their foundation, Just Stop Oil have made several attempts to disrupt action at live sporting events, the incident at the World Snooker Championship being the latest example. 

Previously, protesters broke onto the track at the 2022 British Grand Prix whilst the race was suspended. 

The same month, two supporters glued themselves to the frame of The Hay Wain, an 1821 painting by English artist John Constable, at the National Gallery. 

In the month from the end of September to the end of October 2022, the group began more widespread demonstrations by blocking roads and bridges across London. 

The Metropolitan Police said these manifestations resulted in 677 arrests, and required officers to work an additional 9,438 shifts.  

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