Just Stop Oil protests in Birmingham amid Shell profits increase

Protesters gathered outside Birmingham Magistrates Court

Protesters were seen outside Birmingham Magistrates Court on Wednesday (May 4) holding signs and wearing bright orange hi-vis jackets.

Police officers also stood outside to keep an eye on the protest as it developed.

The protests come as Shell reported record-breaking profits amid soaring oil and gas prices.

The oil giant made a £7.2 billion profit in the first three months of 2022, almost triple the amount it made a year earlier, helping fuel a share price increase.

And the announcement comes just days after rival BP reported its profits had doubled to £4.9bn and has fuelled calls for the Chancellor to set a windfall tax on oil and gas firms to help ease the cost of living crisis.

Shell has also been less damaged by the war in Ukraine as its operations in Russia are smaller than rivals BP and Total.

Just Stop Oil is calling on the government to halt new oil and gas production. They say ordinary people will no longer be able to afford these fossil fuels as the cost of living crisis spirals.

But what were they protesting about and why were they standing outside the court?

Here’s what you need to know.

Members of the environmental group Just Stop Oil were due to appear in court yesterday (4 May) for protesting at the Kingsbury Oil Terminal last month and breaking an injuction, but they failed to turn up and instead, chose to block the terminal once again.

Last month, members of Just Stop Oil were arrested for protesting at oil terminals across the country, incluidng at the Kingsbury Oil Terminal near Tamworth, and at an oil depot in Tyburn.

Arrests were made and eight Just Stop Oil supportors who protested outside the Kingsbury Oil Terminal last month were due to appear for a full committal hearing at Birmingham County Court yesterday for breaking the injunction.

Just Stop Oil demonstrators gathered outside Birmingham Magistrates’ Court today

A spokesman for the the group, said: “Just Stop Oil supportors face arrest today for standing peacefully outside the Kingsbury Oil Terminal holding placards in breach of an injunction granted to North Warwickshire Borough Council on 14th April.

“Of the 11, eight had been summoned for a full committal hearing at Birmingham County Court for previously breaking the injunction, and 3 have a bail hearing at the court. All chose instead, to not attend court and to travel to Kingsbury breaking the private injunction again.”

Just Stop Oil said that by failing to turn up for court today the 11 at Kingsbury and the other two non attendees are risking a charge of contempt of court on top of the prospect of unlimited fines and a prison sentence of up to two years.

Just Stop Oil demonstrators gathered outside Birmingham Magistrates’ Court today

Why did Just Stop Oil protesters gather outside Magistrates Court?

Just Stop Oil supporters gathered outside Birmingham Magistrates Court yesterday, to show support for those due in court - with signs which read: “Business as usual will not solve the climate crisis” and “Just Stop Oil peaceful protestors thank you for your bravery”.

“Ordinary people can no longer afford oil and gas, it’s time to Just Stop Oil.

“It’s funding war and killing people in the global South, while destroying the future for young people everywhere.”

“While we respect the right to peaceful protest, our priority is the safety of our people, our neighbours, the protestors and our operations.

“We are working with the police to ensure that safety is maintained.”

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