The British Government’s decision to continue drilling for oil and gas is “extremist” and “highly violent”, according to an Irish lecturer who was recently arrested at a Just Stop Oil protest.
Dr Genevieve Shanahan is a lecturer at Cardiff University Business School and usually considers herself a “pain in the arse rule follower”.
Despite this, she has become so concerned by the climate crisis that she was recently arrested for her part in a Just Stop Oil ‘slow march’ outside the British Parliament.
“This is such an important issue,” she told The Pat Kenny Show.
“It’s a bit taboo to break the law but in this situation, I think it’s called for and it’s necessary morally.”
I was arrested at Parliament Square on Wednesday for marching in the road with @JustStop_Oil as politicians were arriving for the final PMQs before summer break. I did this because it is clear the government are failing to heed unambiguous warnings... 1/7 pic.twitter.com/cOnFo8QjxN
— Genevieve Shanahan (@GenShanahan) July 21, 2023
A ‘slow march’ is when protestors walk on the roadway, disrupting traffic.
The tactic has won Just Stop Oil both friends and enemies - as well as acres of press coverage.
“Everybody involved has been trained to ensure that everybody understands the safety procedures and that we all know how to quickly and safely get out of the road if there’s an emergency vehicle, for instance,” Dr Shanahan.
North Sea Oil
Earlier this week, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak flew to Scotland to announce new licences for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.
Mr Sunak said Britain would still need to use fossil fuels for years to come and it made "absolutely no sense" to import them from overseas if there is a domestic alternative.
Labour’s energy policy might as well have been written by Just Stop Oil.
They're even funded by the same person.
And their policies would threaten both our energy security and jobs here in the UK.
Today I took action to stop that from happening 👇🧵 pic.twitter.com/lr6CCAjYby
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) July 31, 2023
It is a decision Dr Shanahan believes is both “extremist” and “highly violent”.
“We really wanted to send a strong message to them there in the seat of power for the UK,” she said.
“The decisions that are made there have serious implications on the rest of us - [including] those of us in Ireland.”
Dr Shanahan said she was not in favour of banning the use of all fossil fuels straight away - but that granting new licences would “lock us onto the most extremely disruptive emissions’ pathway.”
“Many of our banners now say, ‘Just Stop New Oil’ - because it’s not about turning off the taps of the oil and gas facilities that we already have,” she said.
“It’s about not investing in new infrastructure for new fossil fuels.”
In total, Dr Shanahan spent 12 hours in a police cell and believes it is “possible” she will end up with a criminal record because of her actions.
At this point, her only regret is that she wishes she had brought a “more entertaining book” to read during her time at the police station.
Main image: Arrests are made as Just Stop Oil block roads around Westminster. Picture by: Alamy.com