Priest Jailed for Climate Protest

Retired Anglican Priest, Rev Bill White is being held on remand at HMP Birmingham after protesting outside the Kingsbury Oil Depot, despite a High Court Injunction banning protestors from the site.

The protest was part of the Just Stop Oil campaign, which is calling on Government to stop granting new licenses for gas and oil exploration. In 2021, Co-Chair of Working Group II of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report warned that: “If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year.” Despite this, a report by Friends of the Earth published in October 2021 estimated that around 40 applications for new projects would be brought to the UK Government by fossil fuel companies in the next few years.

Rev Bill, who is 67 and has four grandchildren, previously explained his motivation for taking part in the Just Stop Oil protests: “Our world is addicted to oil, and like any addict we enrich the dealers, harm those around us, and ultimately destroy ourselves. If unresolved, this addiction to oil today means our children and grandchildren will not be able to enjoy life as we know it. At the very least it is as a matter of justice for them that I support the Just Stop Oil coalition, drawing attention to this deadly addiction, admitting my part in it, and hoping and praying our government will come to its senses and seek help. Bringing an addict to the point of realisation often requires tough love. I see this non-violent civil resistance as the outworking of such costly love God is calling us to.

Rev Bill amplified his protest at Kingsbury by refusing to leave his court cell for a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court last Thursday. Peaceful non-compliance with hearings is an increasing tactic amongst Just Stop Oil campaigners, 18 of whom have now been jailed or remanded. Rev Bill is expected to appear in court again later this week.

At least 12 CCA members have been involved in the Just Stop Oil campaign to date. Rev Tim Hewes also attended the protest at the Kingsbury site, but was released by police on bail. 

You can send messages of support to Rev Bill at billwinprison@protonmail.com

Find out more about Just Stop Oil via a Zoom talk: Our Responsibilities at This Time on Thursday 26th May at 7.00pm. More infomation and booking.

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