Oxfordshire Residents Arrested for Peaceful Protest On Climate Change

Rev Tim Hewes being searched after arrest at Kingsbury Oil Depot - credit Vladimir Morozov

Oxfordshire Residents were among the 51 Just Stop Oil supporters jailed after peaceful protest and mass civil resistance in court

Three Oxfordshire residents were remanded in custody on Thursday 15th September following arrest for peacefully protesting outside Kingsbury Oil Terminal in Warwickshire on Wednesday 14th September.

Michelle Charlesworth, Tim Hewes and Meredith Williams are awaiting trial with a group of 51 Just Stop Oil Supporters.

The Just Stop Oil campaign demands the UK government take immediate and urgent action to address the climate crisis, in particular the immediate halt of new oil and gas licences. Since April this year, when the group first made this demand, over 1,300 of its supporters have been arrested. If found guilty, those in breach of the Kingsbury injunction could be imprisoned for up to two years.

The injunction, granted to Warwickshire County Council on 14 April this year, prohibits peaceful gatherings near Kingsbury Terminal, the UK’s largest inland oil storage depot.

Meredith Williams
Meredith Williams, at Kingsbury. (Photo © Vladimir Morozov.)

Meredith Williams (51) is a scientist from Oxfordshire who has spent his career in new cancer-treatment research. He decided to join the campaign group Just Stop Oil because, when he first understood the enormity of climate crisis and the urgency with which governments need to act, he realized that:

‘Those in power are unwilling to tell the truth, unwilling to take the difficult decisions that need to be taken. … The trajectory we are on is not acceptable.’

Michelle Charlesworth
Michelle Charlesworth, with her grandson, aged 3

Michelle Charlesworth (51) from Abingdon, a Human Resources professional who has worked for 12 years in domestic-abuse and homeless support, chose to breach the Kingsbury injunction on behalf of future generations:

‘I would not be able to look my grandson, Oscar, who is 3, in the eye if I didn’t do everything in my power to secure a liveable future … not just for him, but for the generations to come.’

The third Oxfordshire resident on remand, the Reverend Tim Hewes (72), is a retired dentist and Church of England priest. He joined the group because:

‘The climate catastrophe is unfolding day by day. A third of Pakistan flooded, a heat apocalypse in France, hottest ever Summer in the UK, wild fires in London, droughts and crop failure throughout the world. We must stop our government’s insane and deepening commitment to fossil fuels.’

Tim calls on the UK government to:

Develop a powerful sustainable energy programme we can all be proud of.’

With new business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, planning to extract ‘every last cubic inch of gas from the North Sea’, however, the UK government is accelerating ‘North Sea oil and gas production’, launching ‘a new licensing round’ and removing the ban on fracking.

Tim also said:

‘I take this action today, because our planet is on the brink of collapse. I deeply respect Queen Elizabeth and mourn her death. But people are dying from climate chaos every day, Look at Pakistan! There is not a day to loose. We must stop new oil.’

Supporters of Just Stop Oil will continue to demand change until the government commits to ending all new oil and gas projects. Just Stop Oil urges anyone who is alarmed at the current pursuit of new oil and gas in the face of scientific advice to step up and speak out.

They urge the last generation to have the opportunity to halt climate breakdown to take action as the Governments need to transition from fossil fuels.

If you are concerned, you can make your voice heard and join the coalition of groups in Parliament Square, Westminster, London on 1 October 2022.