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'The least I can do for young people' – Shropshire oil protestor speaks out after London blockade arrests

A climate activist from Shropshire has said she is doing what is 'morally necessary' for future generations at Just Stop Oil protest in London which led to arrests.

Kris Welch
Kris Welch

Kris Welch, a retired special educational needs co-ordinator from Broseley, was among more than 30 supporters of Just Stop Oil, who brought London traffic to a standstill on Wednesday.

The group sat down on the approach roads to Lambeth Bridge establishing roadblocks and halting traffic on two key roads, while some glued themselves to the tarmac and a number locked themselves together using steel tubes.

About seven of those arrested were from Shropshire, including from Telford, Much Wenlock, Broseley, Shrewsbury and Oswestry.

The Just Stop Oil protest took place in London, on Wednesday and are continuing throughout the month

Commenting on her reasons for joining the roadblock, Kris said: "I am a retired special needs teacher. I spent my career supporting vulnerable young people to get an education so that they could follow their hopes and dreams.

"I didn't expect our government to be on a path to destroy their future by ignoring the climate crisis and actively making the crisis worse by licensing even more oil and gas projects.

"I can't stand by and do nothing while the tiny window left to reduce the coming crisis slips by."

She added: "Being an older, retired person, standing up and protesting to protect the future for the next generation is the least I feel I can do for young people.

"If you read the science, listen to Sir David Attenborough or so many other highly respected international figures, then you will understand why I am following my conscience and doing what I believe is morally necessary."

The Just Stop Oil protest took place in London, on Wednesday and are continuing throughout the month

Kate Griffiths from Much Wenlock, also blocked a road in London on Wednesday.

Speaking at the time, she said: “Today is my Grandson’s eighth birthday. I’m terrified for his future.

"We have a government that’s going all out for fossil fuels and wants to bring back fracking, which is the exact opposite of what we need to do.

"Scientists are telling us we have just a couple of years to sort things out, or we face societal collapse.

"That’s why I’m here sitting in a road, about to be arrested, instead of spending the day with my grandson.

"And I’ll keep coming back until the Government commits to stopping all new oil and gas licenses.”

Kate Griffiths

Just Stop Oil has vowed to continue the blockages in the capital for at least a month.

The blockades coincide with the planned launch of a new round of oil and gas licensing in which around 130 new licences could be awarded.

They also come in response to the energy price hike, which could see around eight million households fall into fuel poverty by April of next year – one in three.

The Just Stop Oil protest took place in London, on Wednesday and are continuing throughout the month

Just Stop Oil is demanding that the Government commits to ending all new UK fossil fuel licenses.

A spokesperson from the group said “This is not a one-day event, this is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project.

"Our supporters will be returning – today – tomorrow - and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met – no new oil and gas in the UK.

"Come and join us at Downing Street at 11am every day during October. We will not stand by while everything we know and love is wilfully destroyed.

"We do this because it is the right thing to do and so we have a duty, a responsibility to continue."

On Friday activists blocked roads in central London for a seventh day as part of their campaign to stop future gas and oil projects from going ahead.

Meanwhile, Barry Mitchell, 74, a pensioner from Telford, was released from HMP Birmingham yesterday after serving a two-week sentence for breaching the Kingsbury Injunction.

He was one of 51 Just Stop Oil supporters jailed after taking action on September 14 by sitting in the road outside the Kingsbury Oil Terminal in Warwickshire.

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