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Environmental activist Chris Packham blames media for existence of Just Stop Oil

22 June 2024, 11:12 | Updated: 22 June 2024, 11:21

Chris Packham has blamed the media for the radical action of Just Stop Oil
Chris Packham has blamed the media for the radical action of Just Stop Oil. Picture: Just Stop Oil

By Will Conroy

Environmental activist Chris Packham has blamed the media for the radical action of Just Stop Oil (JSO) while talking to Matthew Wright on LBC.

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Mr Packham said the media’s focus on the organisation’s methods leads to further radical protests as they look to shift attention to their message instead.

This comes just days after the environmental group sprayed orange powder paint on parts of Stonehenge as they called for the next government to commit to phasing out fossil fuels by 2030.

Just Stop Oil would be 'out of business' if media 'conveyed their message', says Chris Packham

Speaking to LBC, Mr Packham said: “We demonstrate our motivation and that is our concern that we want a transition away from fossil fuels towards renewables.

“The media becomes preoccupied by the method and the method in this case was throwing corn starch over a very-much treasured national monument - one of my favourite places in the UK.

“But the media doesn't ever facilitate the transmission of the message and that is what I've just done on behalf of Just Stop Oil and I'm pleased to do that.”

Just Stop Oil are calling for the next government to commit to phasing out fossil fuels by 2030
Just Stop Oil are calling for the next government to commit to phasing out fossil fuels by 2030. Picture: Alamy

The activist added: “I think if the media facilitated a better transmission of that message then frankly in the end Just Stop Oil would be out of business.

“They wouldn't need to be doing radical things like that to try and command attention to get that message across.”

Read more: Just Stop Oil activists fail to find Taylor Swift's jet despite targeting it in VIP airfield attack

Read more: Fury at ‘weak’ justice for eco mob as LBC analysis reveals 99.9% of arrested Just Stop Oil protesters avoid jail

JSO wants the UK to stop approving new fossil fuel projects and has said it will stop protesting when the government announces an end to fossil-fuel production.

However, in July 2023 Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that 100 new North sea licences had been granted and in November he confirmed further licences would be awarded annually.

The group says it uses "non-violent civil resistance" but its tactics have generated significant backlash with their tactics including the shutting down of major roads and targeting of major sporting events.

The group's tactics have included the shutting down of major roads
The group's tactics have included the shutting down of major roads. Picture: Alamy

Despite this, Mr Packham supports the radical action given what’s been necessary in bringing about social change throughout history and the importance of the matter.

He said: “We know that if we are trying to implement social change, history tells us that we need a radical flank, we do need the Just Stop Oils, we do need the Fossil Free Londons we do need the Animal Risings.”

On the transition to renewable energy, Mr Packham said: “That is what we need and there's no ambiguity about it.

“The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) have said it, our own climate change committee have said it, the UN have said it and everyone knows - we've got to keep those fossil fuels in the ground and invest in renewable energies.

“There are jobs and futures at stake in what will be an enormously important industry and that's what Just Stop Oil is asking for.”

Stonehenge was covered in the substance before the protesters sat cross-legged on the grass
Stonehenge was covered in the substance before the protesters sat cross-legged on the grass. Picture: Just Stop Oil

Following the latest protest at Stonehenge, a Just Stop Oil spokesperson said: "The UK's government in waiting has committed to enacting Just Stop Oil's original demand of 'no new oil and gas'.

"However, we all know this is not enough. Continuing to burn coal, oil and gas will result in the death of millions.

"We have to come together to defend humanity or we risk everything.

"That's why Just Stop Oil is demanding that our next government sign up to a legally-binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030."

Video footage showed two people wearing white Just Stop Oil shirts running up to the monoliths with canisters spraying paint.

Members of the public were seen trying to prevent the protesters by dragging them away.

Several stones were covered in the substance before the protesters stopped and sat cross-legged on the grass.

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