Yesterday, on Saturday, 30 September, climate change protestors marched through Wellington’s Arch, central London, around 3pm, en route to Whitehall, carrying signs. The demonstration was grouped with signs in support of other infamous climate protest groups; #JustStopOil, and signs of Extinction Rebellion joined the crowd of hundreds that marched to Whitehall yesterday (Evening Standard, September 2023).
Many signs read lines such as: “Just stop oil”, “Rose Bank will kill us all”, and “planet over profit.”
Music accompanied the march with powerful drum beats to follow the signs. These drums followed the crowd and traffic as they marched through the streets of central London, with police on heavy watch as they did.
However, why were they protesting?
Recently the government decided to implement a new strategy to extract oil and gas from the earth that would harm the environment.
Rosebank is approximately 80 miles northwest of Shetland, which houses a gas and oil field with an approximation of around 300 million barrels of oil, one of the largest concentrations to be found in the UK. This field is monopolised by the Norwegian energy company Equinor, as well as the British-owned firm Ithaca Energy. After this discovery, the UK government confirmed their approval for hundreds of new licenses to be distributed in an effort to search and explore the North Sea for more oil and gas (BBC News, September 2023). An effort with, no doubt, consequences on Mother Nature.
The peaceful protest was watched closely by high-vis adorned police officers, while angry vehicle drivers honked and jeered as the crowd made their way through Wellington’s arch, on their way to Whitehall, taking to Westminster by drumbeat.
Their hope? To persuade the government to rethink this decision.
Robin Wells, of the Fossil Free London campaign group, said: “We are used to U-turns and the government can do a new one over Rosebank” (Kent Online, September 2023).
Of the protesting group, Green Party deputy leader, Zach Polanski, was urging demonstrators' efforts; he told them: “We are not just here in anger, we can also be here in hope… Let’s subsidise the people who are the poorest and most vulnerable in society and let’s stop subsidising fossil fuel giants” (Kent Online, September 2023).
With enough public opinion and outrage, it could just be what is needed to stop the scheme.
Edited by: Anwen Venn
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