Red paint thrown over Edinburgh UK Government office in climate protest

Red paint was thrown over the entrance to the UK Government’s offices in Edinburgh on Thursday by climate activists protesting against the Jackdaw gas field.

By Neil Pooran
Friday, 3rd June 2022, 12:50 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd June 2022, 1:17 pm

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Campaign group Just Stop Oil daubed “blood on your hands” on the front of Queen Elizabeth House as they covered the entrance in paint.

Police arrived after the paint was thrown and spoke to a group of protesters who sat down in front of the building and refused to leave.

In early May, Just Stop Oil blockaded an oil terminal in Clydebank for around 60 hours, leading to more than 30 arrests.

Campaigners demonstrating at Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh. JANE BARLOW/PA

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The group said they were protesting against the Jackdaw North Sea gas field being given final regulatory approval.

Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced the decision on Wednesday.

Just Stop Oil released a statement from an activist called Su, saying: “I believe that we have to do anything in our power to show that we’re not OK with these destructive policies.

“New oil and gas is not the solution, it’s not providing energy security or dealing with the cost-of-living crisis.

“If this Government really wanted that they would be insulating homes and investing in renewables.

“We are demanding an affordable, reliable energy supply that doesn’t destroy the economy, doesn’t cause a cost-of-living crisis and doesn’t destroy the liveable planet for generations to come.

“I refuse to stand by as my Government’s policies cause countless millions of people to die.”

The group said they expected the protesters to be arrested for criminal damage.

Another demonstration took place earlier during which a banner reading “stop Jackdaw” was unfurled outside Queen Elizabeth House.

Several dozen activists chanted and listened to speeches during the protest.

Stop Jackdaw spokesman Maciej Walczuk, 19, said claims that the Jackdaw field would help with the energy crisis were a “lie”.

The engineering student told the PA news agency: “The international agencies, the United Nations and basically all scientists agree that we cannot allow for new oil and gas investment.”

He said the Stop Jackdaw campaign aimed to continue the activism against the Cambo oil field to the west of Shetland.

He continued: “What the Stop Cambo campaign really showed us is organising in people’s communities and creating public pressure can work.

“It worked with Cambo, we managed to get the UK Government and the companies to move away from that project.

“So what we’re really trying to do is not to see today as a day of failure but really get ourselves even more excited to fight against the UK Government.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We were aware of a protest on Sibbald Walk on Thursday 2 June.

“Officers are in attendance and engaging with the group.”

A spokeswoman for HM Revenue & Customs, which owns the building, said: “There was a small demonstration outside our Queen Elizabeth House site in Edinburgh this afternoon.

“Police have been in attendance and our services are unaffected.”