A coalition of activist groups will converge to engage in protests in London this weekend. Beginning on the 1st of October at 11 am, Just Stop Oil activists will begin a mass demonstration in Westminster to demand that the UK government stops licensing new oil and gas projects. Attendees will begin by meeting at a selection of different locations around London, from which they will descend onto Parliament Square. They will then “occupy Westminster” for two days, meeting again on Sunday the 2nd of October at the same location and time.
The crowd is unlikely, however, to be comprised only of those focusing exclusively on oil and gas. The demonstration is expected to be attended by a multitude of different activist organisations. Such groups will address a convergence of grievances that they understand to be interlinked: economic inequality within and between nations, the cost-of-living crisis, fossil fuel extraction, and climate change.
We All Want to Just Stop Oil outline five demands on their website:
- No new oil
- Tax big polluters and billionaires
- Energy for all
- Insulate our homes
- Cheap public transport
Saturday’s broad-span activist alliance will insist that such issues are inseparable and must not therefore be treated in isolation. Just Stop Oil’s protest also coincides, for example, with Enough is Enough’s 1st of October ‘National Day of Action’, for which demonstrations have been planned across most major cities in the UK. In London, Enough is Enough will convene at Kings Cross Station at 12 pm to support a set of economic demands nearly synonymous with those proposed by Just Stop Oil. Interest in both groups has been impressive over the last month, likely due in large part to ongoing economic hardships beleaguering both of their support bases.
The National Day of Action and “Occupy Westminster” represent the first events amongst a forthcoming ‘Autumn of action’ in which a variety of marches, sit downs and people’s assemblies are expected to take place. Just Stop Oil will immediately follow the protest at Westminster by protesting at 10 Downing Street from the 3rd onwards. Further activities are, again, likely to be inter-organisational as groups neglect to identify themselves as standalone and single-issue. The composition of those attending this Saturday will be testament to this.