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Extinction Rebellion Newark and Sherwood plan petrol station protests at BP and Shell forecourts next week

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Extinction Rebellion will be protesting at petrol station forecourts in the Newark and Sherwood area to encourage motorists to boycott both BP and Shell.

Newark and Sherwood Extinction Rebellion, along with other Extinction Rebellion groups, will hold their protests next week, but aren’t saying which petrol stations will be targeted or exactly when they will be.

There are currently no plans to blockade BP stations though the nature of Extinction Rebellion is that rebels can act autonomously, providing the principles of non-violent direct action are maintained.

A protest at a BP petrol station by Extinction Rebellion. (58070214)
A protest at a BP petrol station by Extinction Rebellion. (58070214)

The campaign group said it would be peacefully protesting in a range of ways including in the form of a mock funeral procession to raise awareness of Shell and BP’s deadly expansion plans and greenwashing.

Newark and Sherwood Extinction Rebellion said it wanted to warn motorists so they can fill up their tanks at different petrol stations. It said due to some elements of the protest, there could be some minor delays to traffic. It said the protest was not aimed at ordinary people but the companies it claimed were profiting at everyone’s expense.

It said: “There may be rebels prepared to be arrested but that wasn’t the main intention. Rather it was planned as a peaceful protest to promote a boycott and highlight how we must end our reliance on fossil fuels for a liveable future and to provide affordable energy and genuine energy security.

“This will be what we term a ‘scalable’ action whereby climate activists will choose what level of risk of arrest they are willing to take and therefore the details of the various elements of the protest will be finalised on the day.

“We hope that the idea of the boycott will gain support so that pressure on these companies can build and lead to change.”

The group said it believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel against the destruction that is unfolding using peaceful civil disobedience to pressure governments and corporations into meaningful action to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.

Within the district, there are BP stations at Northgate and Bowbridge Road in Newark, Muskham Services, Cromwell and Upton Road, Southwell. Shell has stations at the A17 Winthorpe Roundabout and at Old Rufford Road, Ollerton.

The group said: “Whilst ordinary people are struggling with the massive rise in household bills and at nearly £2 per litre of petrol, Shell’s profits have tripled and BP’s have doubled.

“Together these companies are on course for over £40bn pounds profit this year.”

“BP is expanding their oil field in the Gulf of Mexico whilst Shell is expanding into our very own North Sea — home to 230 different species of fish, thousands of seabirds and a variety of whales, dolphins and sharks.”

“There’s no good oil company, but we’d like to discourage people from filling up at Shell or BP,” said Carl Braithwaite, from the group.

“Both Shell and BP have plans for massive expansion, despite clear warnings from scientists. They are pressing ahead with new oil and gas while pretending to be part of the solution.”

The group said BP and Shell’s expansion goes directly against the advice of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

It said in May 2021 the IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol said: “If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now — from this year.”

Wendy Patterson, a resident of Collingham, said: “BP and Shell are set on profits at the expense of people. As if they’re not wealthy enough they want even more money.’’

Emma Oldham said: “The responsibility for change and action falls yet again on the shoulders of everyday people. But the way society is organised today means nearly everyone needs a car.

“The majority of us are trapped in a system of having to top up our vehicles with fossil fuels, further exacerbating the climate and wildlife emergency.

“We have to carry that burden. Enough is enough. It’s time for these greedy companies to invest in large-scale clean energy and help people transition away from fossil fuels.”

A spokesman for BP said: “We understand and appreciate that high energy prices are putting high levels of strain on people during this cost of living crisis, which is hugely compounded by what is happening in Ukraine.

“We don’t control fuel prices.

“We’re investing heavily in the UK in reliable and cleaner energies. We’re intending to spend up to £18bn by 2030, and more beyond, on quality and sustainable energies and, yes, that includes the North Sea. But not just gas, in off-sea wind too. We already have the largest ever EV charging network in the UK.”

Shell has unveiled plans to invest £20-25bn in the UK energy system over the next 10 years. More than 75% of this is intended for low and zero-carbon products and services, including offshore wind, hydrogen, carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and electric mobility.

By 2030, Shell UK aims to have 100,000 public EV charge points across the country. 11,000 of these will be rapid chargers at locations including forecourts and supermarkets. It said that means that 90% of all UK drivers will be within a 10-minute drive of a Shell rapid charger.

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