A group of six young people blocked the entrances of a seminar on the UK unconventional oil and gas industry this morning.
The group, aged 15-25, were from Extinction Rebellion Youth and wore t-shirts with the message “Don’t step on our future”.
Their two lock-on protests forced people attending the meeting in central London to step over them.
At the time of writing, there was one police van and two police cars at the scene.
The meeting, organised by the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport, is looking at planning changes, environmental regulation and scaling up the unconventional oil and gas market in the UK
Speakers include Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, and the shale gas commissioner, Natascha Engel. There are also presentations from the Environment Agency, IGas, British Geological Survey and the industry organisation, UK Onshore Oil and Gas.
Extinction Rebellion Youth Coordinator, Robin Ellis-Cockcroft, 24, said:
“The reason behind this action is that investing in fracking at this point in time is both criminally harmful to our futures as young people and is used to stall development in renewable energy technologies – solar, wind, battery storage, etc.
“By convening and attending this conference the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum are promoting short term business over our generation’s future – as such, we will be blocking access to the conference to both stop such work and provide a clear message of what they are sacrificing for their profits.”
Another activist, Hollie Andrews, 20, said:
“The fact that this conference is even being allowed to be held when we are already in the midst of climate breakdown is nothing more than evil. Even though we are not fully blocking those who are attending from entering, hopefully the fact that they have to step over us will at least make them consider the damage that they are causing to our futures.”
Lachlan Sandford Hall, 18, said:
“Research shows the way we’re living is unsustainable but change isn’t happening. I know my actions are more powerful because I’m young and as a great man once said ‘with great power comes great responsibility!”
Isla Sandford Hall, 16, said:
“Fracking and conferences like this are part of the system that is devastating my future, I refuse to be complicit in my own and everyone else’s destruction – I can’t trust adults to act responsibly any more, so I am acting myself”
- The group unlocked themselves at the end of the meeting. There were no arrests.
DrillOrDrop reports from the seminar
Reporting on this meeting has been made possible by donations from individual DrillOrDrop readers