What future for our children? ask Just Stop Oil protesters

Three women from Easton and Ashley Down have been arrested at Just Stop Oil protests in London, according to march organisers.

The climate change protest group says mental health worker Emma Ireland, aged 39, from Easton was arrested while protesting with nine women in a “slow march” along New Oxford Street in Central London on Monday July 10.

It was part of a series of demonstrations by the group, which is calling on the Government to end all new exploration for oil, gas, and coal. 

The women were among 22 Just Stop Oil supporters from Bristol who travelled to the capital for a week of continuous slow marches.

A statement from JSO said ten minutes into the march Met Police issued a Section 12 notice under the Public Order Act and arrested several of the women.

Emma Ireland was charged under Section 12 and released on bail. She was due to appear before Westminster Magistrates on July 26.

Later in the week, on Wednesday July 12, two women from Ashley Down were arrested at a “mums’ march” in Shaftesbury Avenue.

JSO said Sophie Holland, 52, a speech and language therapist, and Rowan Tilley, were among 24 West Country mothers taking part in a 30 minute long slow march protest.

Some held signs saying “Give our kids’ hope” and “I am a mother, I won’t look away”. 

JSO say police issued a Section 12 Notice and ordered the mothers from the road. Sophie Holland and Rowan Tilley were arrested and charged under Section 12 and released on bail. Sophie Holland is scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on August 11.

Other mums from the group travelled to Hamleys Toy Store on Regent Street where some staged a protest outside, while others invaded the store holding signs saying “What future for our children?” before they were escorted out by security. 

Chloe Naldrett, 43, from Bishopston, delivered a testimony on a loudhailer calling on parents to engage with Just Stop Oil and resist the UK government’s attempts to licence new fossil fuel extraction. 

She said: “Christiana Figueres, ex UN Executive Secretary, says that our children will have to live in a world that is so unstable it will be difficult for them to have any predictability about their lives whatsoever. I am furious that the security and happiness of our children has been sold by our government and by energy companies for their short-term financial and political profit. And I will not stand by and accept it, so I am marching today out of love for my boys, my nephews and nieces, and children everywhere.

“As a mother I have watched my two small boys fall in love with the world: I refuse to stand by while they are forced to watch it die.” 

A former priest from Westbury on Trym was also arrested during the slow march in New Oxford Street.  

The Rev Sue Parfitt, 80, a retired family therapist, was charged with breaching section 12 of the Public Order Act, and released on bail.

Just Stop Oil said in a statement: “These marches are taking place against a backdrop of increasingly rapid climate breakdown. Last week, Earth experienced its hottest ever temperatures, breaking records four days in a row.

“It prompted United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres to state that “climate change is out of control” and that “if we persist in delaying key measures that are needed, I think we are moving into a catastrophic situation.” 

The Just Stop Oil campaign launched on February 14, 2022. In total there have been over 2,100 arrests.