Picture post: Youth protest at shale gas seminar

190404 protest WEEF seminiar dod3

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.

190404 protest WEEF seminiar dod1

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.

190404 protest WEEF seminiar dod4

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

Cuadrilla calls for new approach to fracking earthquake rules

IGas sets out vision for back-to-back shale gas development

“Fracking will struggle if it doesn’t solve landowner liability for clean-up”

Reporting on this meeting has been made possible by donations from individual DrillOrDrop readers


38 replies »

  1. Often have to step over things in a city!

    Not sure the subliminal message will be what is intended.

    Articulate, but fake news. Development of unconventional is NOT at the expense of alternatives. Could actually work out like Norway, where development of conventional oil and gas has actually enabled/accelerated alternative energy.

  2. Young people have every right to protest against the fossil fuel industry that continues to lobby against the change to renewables and is actively delaying the transition. It is their generation and generations to come that will suffer the devastating impacts from climate change. The fact that young people are now willing to take action sends a powerful and heartfelt message to governments across the world.

    • We need to move away from a response to climate change that relies on stirring but undeliverable promises of carbon neutrality. Rather than forcing the rollout of currently inefficient green energy, governments should invest much more in research and development to make it cheaper for the future. Feel-good promises are easy politics, but they don’t actually help the planet.

      Bjørn Lomborg
      M.A. degree in political science at the University of Aarhus in 1991, and a Ph.D. degree in political science at the University of Copenhagen, In 2009, Business Insider cited Lomborg as one of “The 10 Most-Respected Global Warming Skeptics”.

    • “I know my actions are more powerful because I am young”!!!

      Yes, they have a right KatT, but to be so patronising and ageist does not exercise that right in a responsible way. Someone may equally reply “I know my actions are more powerful as I am old and experienced”.

      It takes me back to campaigning against Maggie, the Milk Snatcher, when free school milk was removed. Lots of older individuals encouraging us to campaign and all very Student Union for a while. UNTIL, we started to consider that free school milk was to offer improved levels of nutrition following deprivation of the war period, and that as rationing was reduced/removed nutrition improved and there came a point where free school milk was being thrown away. So, whilst I was at agricultural college at the time and we really liked the idea of maintaining as many milk maids as possible, we did remove ourselves from the direction of the older individuals, thought around the bigger picture and returned to our studies (well, some of the time!)

  3. Wonderful brave souls, very proud of the. So glad that there is now a new generation that are fast learning about the importance of standing up for what they believe in. They’re measured and articulate.
    All thanks to Gretta for leading the way…

    • “Brave”!!!!


      Not exactly putting their lives in danger. Only risk is to a chill in the nether regions, and a passing dog cocking its leg. Perhaps brave if they did it in Saudi? Maybe losing a days pay? Or, perhaps not.

      Elsewhere, there are others in the same age group who ARE brave souls looking after the security of this country-including the energy security made more difficult due to the increasing amount of energy the UK imports. Plenty of references around London of those really brave souls who made the ultimate sacrifice in the past doing just that, and, unfortunately, will probably have to do so again in the future.

      These souls were sitting down, One, not standing up. Alternative, but not brave.

  4. One police van, and two police cars!

    Well, let’s hope knife crime in London is having a break. Sends a message KatT-but, not the one you would like.

    Wrong time, wrong place, and therefor ill-conceived. Just an image of a group who have not thought through the wider consequences, rather than being more in tune than the rest. I suspect there will be many nervous people in London who are not too impressed.

    By the way, all industries lobby for their interests, including alternative energy sector. Some make a stronger case, because their case is, err, stronger. If some can’t compete on a level playing field they try and produce a slope, and good luck to them. But, trying to exclude competitors from a place on the field is rather revealing.

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