Photo credit: XR Sweden © Jana Eriksson 2018 (CC BY 2.0

Climate radicals blockade oil depots during energy crisis

This week, radical environmentalist groups, including Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Just Stop Oil, have been disrupting and blocking fuel depots in the UK – and they’re saying there’s worse to come.

For days, 30 climate radicals blockaded an oil facility in the west of London, saying there were “here to stay” and that they would “continue to block oil facilities until the government agrees to stop all new fossil fuel investments immediately.”

The group used bamboo sticks with banners attached reading “Stop Fossil Fuels Now” to block the oil depot’s entrance.

Protestors at Kingsbury oil terminal in Warwickshire, England, scaled the plant, threatening the “oil cartel” with trials for “crimes against humanity and high treason against the British state.”

This comes as fuel prices already soar to record levels across Europe, due in part to climate policies and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Millions of people are already struggling with the soaring costs.

However, according to XR, the public’s primary concern is more action on climate change.

“The reality is, the UK public wants faster action on climate as the energy crisis hits,” said Andrew Smith, a member of the group.

Last weekend, Just Stop Oil blocked oil depots across the UK, with around 400 anti-oil protestors being arrested in total since last weekend.

XR are now threatening to “get serious” and block more roads than ever, shutting down the city of London.

“We want to create the most roadblocks we’ve ever created, using as many people as we can,” Alanna Byrne, XR spokesperson, told the Big Issue.

“Lots of people in XR are feeling like we need to get more serious, basically.”

The Extinction Rebellion website mentions that intentionally getting arrested is actually a tactic they use.

“Extinction Rebellion is a movement that uses nonviolent direct action and mass arrest as a tactic to achieve its aims,” the group’s website says.

“…Rebellion requires sacrifice. An act of shedding the norms of a destructive and violent system and stepping in to our vision of a compassionate and healthy future. Sacrifice comes from the latin root words sacra and facere i.e. ‘to make sacred’. With self sacrifice comes individual responsibility – inform yourself, make your own decisions and prepare the support you will need

…Preparing for arrest is a collective and individual endeavour and will look different for every rebel.”

Last year one of the group’s founders was arrested by UK police for conspiracy to cause criminal damage after members attacked two London banks.

Another founder, XR founder, Roger Hallam, was the subject of controversy in 2019 when he made remarks downplaying the seriousness of the Holocaust, saying it was “just another f*ckery in human history” and “almost a normal event.”

Additionally, speaking at an Amnesty International event, he said that to combat climate change it was necessary to “bring governments down”, and admitted that “Some may die in the process…there’s no real change without pain.”

Closer to home, XR activists in Ireland have been accused of criminal damage towards government buildings as part of their political action, which was reportedly livestreamed.

However, the case was ultimately thrown out.

In 2020, UK terrorism police labelled XR an “extremist ideology.”


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