Just Stop Oil bridge climbers get 3 years in longest ever sentence for peaceful climate action

Just Stop Oil at Dartford QE2 bridge M25 crossing. Image: Just Stop Oil

Two Just Stop Oil supporters have been given draconian custodial sentences after occupying the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford in London. The Just Stop Oil supporters were demanding that the government halt licensing and consents for the development of any new fossil-fuel projects in the UK.

The pair appeared before Judge Collery at Southend Crown Court. Morgan Trowland has been sentenced to three years and Marcus Decker has been sentenced to two years and seven months. These are the longest sentences for peaceful climate action in UK history.

The pair scaled the QE2 bridge on October 17th 2022 and remained at height for 37 hours. Both men have been held on remand since the incident.

Speaking before the sentencing, Morgan Trowland, 40, a bridge design engineer from London, said:

“Marcus and I demonstrated what any two ordinary people will do, when the death screams of the world become unbearable. I cannot enjoy liberty in a society when our government makes plans to kill people on a massive scale. Drilling new oil and gas wells in 2023 means death for many of the most vulnerable on earth. I will not be complicit in that.”

Speaking outside the courtroom Stephanie Golder, a Just Stop Oil spokesperson, said:

“What Morgan and Marcus did was extraordinary, risky and extremely disruptive. But what should you do when your government refuses to protect the people? When it ignores the repeated warnings of the world’s climate scientists. When you know that new oil and gas extraction will eventually result in the deaths of billions of people?”

“Nonviolent civil resistance is the answer. It’s what the Suffragettes did, it’s what the Civil Rights movements did. It’s our best chance of getting the scale of change we need, in the time we need it.”

“Just Stop Oil will not be deterred by these draconian sentences. Where they imprison one of us, ten more will take their place. When they imprison ten of us, one hundred will stand to take their place. We must unite against this genocidal government and be brave.”

“For now, that means slowly marching around the streets of London. It is an act of self respect, an act of solidarity, an act of love and necessity. We urge you to join us, because together we can stop the harm that is new oil and gas. Our campaign resumes on April 24th. Sign up at juststopoil dot org.”

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign began on April 1st 2022, there have been over 2,000 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison, many without trial. There are currently two Just Stop Oil and five Insulate Britain supporters in prison, serving sentences for actions taken with the campaign.

This is the moment for us to come together and resist the destruction of everything we love, something that is being imposed on us by a few, who only seek to enrich themselves. 

from a Just Stop Oil press release

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