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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Hamilton

Just Stop Oil and it's 'student revolution'

Via Just Stop Oil

The climate group ‘Just Stop Oil’ have branched out from road blockages and taken to targeting universities across the UK as their most recent method of attention-grabbing.

A total of 10 universities have seen demonstrations from the activist group, with more expected in the coming weeks.

If you are one of the lucky individuals whose feed isn’t covered in orange paint at the moment, here’s what you need to know; Just Stop Oil is a self-described ‘nonviolent civil resistance group demanding the UK government stop licensing all new oil, gas and coal projects’. The group has gained significant media attention through controversial methods of protest like road blockages and vandalism.

In their latest rallying act, the group declared a ‘student revolution’, starting this October, with orange paint being splattered over university buildings. Their website now features a page specifically for students, where young people can get involved at their respective universities.

Only a few of the students involved in the recent protests have actually taken action at their own universities, presumably to avoid expulsion.

Via Just Stop Oil

It makes sense that the group are targeting young people, not only because they tend to be the easiest to mobilise for social causes (especially environmental ones), but also because universities are big players in the issue of climate politics.

The Guardian recently revealed that UK universities have taken £40m in fossil fuel funding since 2022, with the University of Exeter receiving the most, due to a £14.7m, five-year deal with Shell.

Bristol University was the first in the UK to declare a climate emergency in 2019 yet continues to manage millions of pounds through Barclays Bank, the seventh biggest fossil fuel funder in the world.

Student-led grassroots organisation, People&Planet, annually ranks UK universities based on environmental consciousness – see how your university ranks here.

Universities are unlikely to bend in the face of such displays of civil disobedience and if we know anything about climate protestors it is that they are incredibly persistent. Who knows, you might be able to pick up a Just Stop Oil flier at your next SU event and get involved in the next wave of their 'student revolution'. Or maybe just wait until you've handed in your dissertation.


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