31 Climate Activists Charged After 60-hour Oil Terminal Blockade in Scotland

31 Climate Activists Charged After 60-hour Oil Terminal Blockade in Scotland
Climate activists from Just Stop Oil blockade the Nustar Clydebank oil terminal in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, on May 3, 2022. (Just Stop Oil/PA Media)
Alexander Zhang

UK police have arrested and charged 31 climate activists from a group called Just Stop Oil, which blockaded an oil terminal in Scotland for around 60 hours.

The protest at the Nustar Clydebank facility in West Dunbartonshire—which began around 4.10 a.m. on May 3—has now ended, Police Scotland said on May 6.

The force said: “31 people were arrested and charged in connection with a number of offences.”

Just Stop Oil supporters blocked access to the facility on May 3 by climbing on top of tankers and locking on to the entrance. Some activists entered the oil terminal and sat on the pipes or the silos to halt operations.

The activists said that they were taking action in support of their demand that the UK government end all new oil and gas projects in the country.

As the protest came to an end, the group said on Twitter that it had lasted 60 hours and was its “longest ever” occupation of an oil facility.

According to Police Scotland, 15 of the arrested activists have been charged with breach of the peace and 16 with a contravention of a section of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 which relates to trespassing and alleged malicious mischief.

Chief Superintendent Lynn Ratcliff said: “As a rights-based organisation, Police Scotland puts our values of integrity, fairness, respect, and a commitment to upholding human rights at the heart of everything we do.

“This means that we will protect the rights of people who wish to peacefully protest or counter-protest, balanced against the rights of the wider community.”

It was the first action of its kind in Scotland since Just Stop Oil began blockading fuel terminals in southeast England and the Midlands on April 1, leading to more than 1,000 arrests.

The UK government said that its commitment to a strong oil and gas industry in the North Sea will be affected by the protests.

A government spokesman said: “We will not bend to the will of activists who naively want to extinguish North Sea oil and gas production. Doing so would put energy security and British jobs at risk, and simply increases foreign imports, whilst not reducing demand.

“We are committed to a strong North Sea industry as we transition away from expensive fossil fuels over the coming decades, and our recent British Energy Security Strategy sets out a long-term plan to ramp up cheap renewables and nuclear energy.”

PA Media contributed to this report.