Local Just Stop Oil activists arrested after London protests

Date published: 10 November 2023

Two Just Stop Oil activists from the Rochdale borough have been arrested this week after partaking in peaceful slow marches in London.

Hundreds of Just Stop Oil supporters have taken part in the marches, demanding the government heed the advice of the International Energy Agency, the United Nations and a majority of the UK public and stop granting licences for all new oil, gas and coal projects immediately.

The Just Stop Oil supporters marched from Trafalgar Square to Westminster on Monday and across Waterloo Bridge on Wednesday. They are expected to march again today (Friday), and to continue over the coming weeks.

On each occasion, the Metropolitan Police issued a Section 7 order from the Public Order Act 2023 and arrested all the marchers. 

Pat Sanchez, an 83-year-old grandma and retired lecturer from Littleborough, and Jane Touil, 57, a climate change consultant from Rochdale, have both been arrested this week.

Pat said: “I am hugely fearful about the chaos my children and grandchild will face.

“I fear especially for disabled people, including my disabled son. How will they survive when society collapses, when people fight for food, when there is no social care? The government knows that new oil and gas will cause millions to die, yet still they continue with their murderous plan to open over 100 new oil and gas projects. They should be charged with genocide now.”


Pat Sanchez, speaking at a CND Conference
Pat Sanchez, speaking at a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament conference in 2015


Jane, who has been arrested twice this week and held for court, said: “I cannot stand by while the government gives the go-ahead to new oil, gas and coal projects which it knows will kill millions of people.

“I am doing this out of love and desperation. People in poor countries who have done nothing to contribute to climate breakdown are suffering and dying now. The greed and corruption make me so angry. The government are the real criminals. The police should launch a criminal investigation into their genocidal policies.”

The marches come after Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, pledged to ‘max out’ the UK’s oil and gas reserves while announcing 100 new oil and gas licences.

Since then, 50 MPs and peers from all major parties, have written to the energy secretary to demand a rethink.

Conservative MP and former Science Minister Chris Skidmore said that the decision was “precisely at the wrong time when the rest of the world is experiencing record heatwaves” and that history would not look favourably on it.

A spokesperson from Just Stop Oil said: “We are not prepared to watch while the government plans for millions to die and destroys everything we love. It’s up to all of us now to come together and resist. We cannot let them divide us. Together we can be the real opposition this country needs and we will win. We will stop new oil and gas.”

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing news@rochdaleonline.co.uk
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email news@rochdaleonline.co.uk or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online