• Activists for Just Stop Oil intend to block oil refineries, motorways and occupy petrol station forecourts in protest of fossil fuel production over two weekends 
  • Roger Hallam, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, predicts up to 3,000 activists could be arrested in a bid to bring down UK’s oil network
  • Plans were hatched by the pressure group over several meetings held last week 

    Climate change zealots are plotting to block oil refineries, motorways and petrol stations across Britain next month, an investigation by The Mail on Sunday has discovered.

    Roger Hallam, a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Insulate Britain, predicted that up to 3,000 activists could be arrested over two weekends in March for closing down the country’s oil network.

    As well as paralysing oil refineries and nearby motorways, activists for the newly formed pressure group Just Stop Oil intend to occupy petrol station forecourts, ‘tanker surf’ on fuel lorries and spray-paint filling points.

    The sinister plan emerged during three meetings last week attended by an undercover MoS reporter who also obtained a document setting out the timeline of the group’s action.

    Drawing parallels to Martin Luther King and Gandhi, the document states: ‘XR and Insulate Britain demonstrate that civil resistance works. They also show that we need to do significantly more to stop the greatest crime in humanity.’

    Just Stop Oil has been on a major recruitment drive in recent weeks. Despite numerous arrests for taking part in protests and an increasing ‘cancel culture’ on campuses, Hallam was allowed to seek support at several universities including Edinburgh and Glasgow.

    The group’s strategy includes forming regional groups and recruitment teams to hold more than 20 meetings a week. Later this month, it will demand that the Government make a ‘meaningful statement to Just Stop Oil’. If no such undertaking is made, a campaign of civil resistance will be announced.

    The first phase would include blocking oil refineries, storage units and nearby motorways. The next move – Phase 2A – would see activists sitting in petrol forecourts as well as ‘tanker-surfing and spray-paint(ing) filling points’. Phase 2B, presumably an escalation of the protest, is simply described as ‘high stakes resistance against oil’.

    The unlikely venue for one of last week’s meetings was a community centre in the picturesque town of Wallingford, near Oxford, which drew a 50-strong crowd of polite, mask-wearing residents.

    Promoted through leaflets and on Facebook, it began chaotically after Hallam was stuck on a train in Reading and, ironically, had to be picked up and driven to the event by a fellow activist.

    As an intruder blared out a radio at full volume from the back of the room in a bid to drown out the proceedings, one of the organisers, Sarah Webb, was flustered as she prepared to read Hallam’s speech. ‘Oh God, it really is the end of the world now,’ she muttered.

    But while she admitted to being ‘really quite nervous’, Webb is hardly a shrinking violet. The 50-year-old, who works as a special educational needs tutor for young children and is also involved in XR, was arrested last August after locking herself to a giant pink table in Central London for 21 hours.

    When she attended court a month later, she wore the red uniform of an oppressed character from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale.

    To her relief, Hallam, 55, arrived after a few minutes and soon set about whipping up his audience. ‘What I’m here to tell you tonight is you have an absolute responsibility to take action on the greatest act of injustice and obscene evil in the history of humanity,’ he said.

    ‘I’m not mincing my words tonight. What else is it that we face? What other description can we give to COP26, which knowingly, in full knowledge of the science, decided to condemn the next generation to a world that is uninhabitable. A world of starvation, rape and slaughter.’

    Suggesting that joining the protest could enhance supporters’ employment prospects, he added: ‘No one is going to lose their job for campaigning on the climate, whatever it says in your contract. If anything, it’s going to promote your career because it shows you’ve got guts.

    ‘This is quite a tangent, but I think it’s quite amusing – my partner, a co-founder of XR, put it on her CV and she’s in middle-management of a non-governmental organisation. She’s 24.’

    Hallam’s colourful rhetoric has landed him in trouble in the past. In January, he claimed in a controversial Facebook post that failing to engage in climate action was comparable to making a cup of tea while ‘your daughter is being raped’. The same month, students at Warwick University cancelled Hallam’s visit after the Jewish Society said he had ‘a history of Holocaust minimisation and trivialisation’. It was prompted by an interview in 2019 when Hallam claimed the Holocaust was ‘almost a normal event’ and ‘just another f***ery in human history’. He later apologised.

    Speaking to the undercover reporter in Wallingford, Hallam said: ‘What we’re talking about tonight is 3,000 arrests, not a big number… There were 150 students in Edinburgh University this week signing up to get arrested. We can do it, it’s peanuts.’

    And for anyone concerned about the prospect of arrest? ‘Everyone has a great time because it’s like being a kid again, it’s adrenaline,’ he replied.

    Insulate Britain has previously occupied space on roads as part of their protest

    Insulate Britain has previously occupied space on roads as part of their protest

    Traffic has previously been brought to a standstill by Extinction Rebellion protests

    Traffic has previously been brought to a standstill by Extinction Rebellion protests

    One activist, Oxfordshire vicar Tim Hewes, even cited wellbeing perks. The 71-year-old retired dentist made international headlines last year when he sewed his lips together in a bloody protest against media mogul Rupert Murdoch. He previously glued himself to furniture at the City of London Magistrates’ Court.

    ‘I felt an amazing sense of liberation and I felt alive on the actions,’ he told the reporter on Wednesday. ‘For me, being active [with XR] is good for my mental wellbeing.’

    For her part, Webb said: ‘I’m middle-aged now, I’m 50 years old, and it’s quite exciting to be naughty and getting into shenanigans. You’ve got this beautiful supportive community and I don’t get that in the wider world. We’re in a real bubble of love and it feels fantastic.’

    At a student Just Stop Oil meeting in South London on Tuesday, held in a local church, three young recruiters trotted out a similar line, albeit in slightly stronger terms, by saying that joining up had helped them realise ‘that not everyone is a f***ing Nazi’.

    And while the overwhelmingly middle-aged activists in Wallingford were enticed to attend further meetings with the promise of pizza, the student recruiters chattered excitedly about a ‘huge party’ in Manchester where an organiser would likely ‘spike people with acid’.

    One recruiter, a former student nurse from Ireland, recalled spending the night in a police cell after scaling a Government building. She said the experience was ‘all right’ because the police gave her ‘blankets and hot drinks’.

    The young activists claimed 400 students had already committed to getting arrested for the campaign and that they hoped to recruit 1,000 students to block oil sites and paralyse the country.

    The young activists claimed 400 students had already committed to getting arrested for the campaign and that they hoped to recruit 1,000 students to block oil sites

    The Bournemouth talk on Thursday followed a similar structure. Held in a damp-smelling pub on the high street, it began with another student reeling off catastrophic science literature before launching into their havoc-causing plans.

    ‘What we are doing is disrupting infrastructure. So it’s sitting in the road, it’s putting our bodies in the way of vehicles getting to the infrastructure, it’s stopping it [the oil sites] running. We’re escalating the issue of oil,’ said XR activist George Gaillet.

    When the discussion moved to blocking a local oil plant, Dorset activist and Insulate Britain PR manager Melissa Carrington said: ‘I think the key thing about Just Stop Oil is it’s got to cause economic disruption. It’s not symbolic, creative stuff, it’s stuff that’s going to disrupt, and that’s what we need to focus on.’

    Unsurprisingly, some audience members at the meetings were daunted at the prospect of getting arrested for the climate. Hallam tried to assuage these concerns with promises of ruthless professionalism. ‘You’ll get an email and all the rest of it, it’s very organised,’ he insisted.

    ‘This is a British civil disobedience organisation, you don’t just turn up. After that you go to a non-violence day and you learn how to be non-violent in case someone provokes you. You learn about the legal side, the practicalities, you learn about who you’re going in the road with, it’s like designing a little mini-holiday’.

    For those unconvinced, Hallam suggested smaller, supportive roles: ‘Whenever there’s a group of people doing civil disobedience, there’s three or four people who will do the transport, meet them outside a police station, walk their dog or donate money. That’s what it means by having this community.’

    Just Stop Oil declined to comment.

    Extracted in full from: Climate change fanatics plot to blockade Britain’s refineries, fuel trucks and petrol stations | Daily Mail Online