At 8:50 PM today, a young supporter of Just Stop Oil ran onto the pitch during the Everton vs Newcastle United game to draw attention to the group’s demand that the Government ends all new fossil fuel supply projects.
Louis, 21, locked on to the goalpost at Goodison Park wearing a Just Stop Oil t-shirt, causing the referee to stop play or nearly 10 minutes. The shirt featured a link – bit.ly/WeHaveNoFuture – which leads to a short video message.
“It’s 2022 and it’s time to look up, time to step up and not stand by. It’s time to act like it’s an emergency.
“Report after report is telling me that my future is going to be dire, and my government is telling me not to worry and pay into a pension.
“My generation is being shafted — we face a cost of living crisis, a housing crisis, a fuel crisis and an unlivable planet — but we have a choice. We can choose to highlight that our climate is breaking down, we can choose to resist this government that is betraying us, we can choose to step up and not stand by.”
Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups taking direct action to demand that the government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.
Football fans may already know that the game is at risk due to the climate crisis as hundreds of sports facilities are wrecked by extreme weather and flooding — posing an existential threat for some smaller clubs.
However, the connection between football and the climate crisis extends beyond being a passive victim of its effects. Oil and gas companies, the main cause of climate breakdown, pay vast sums to sponsor Premier League football clubs in order to clean up their dirty image.
Newcastle United fans may have reason to be particularly concerned. Their club was recently purchased by a consortium including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which controls 80% of the shares. For the past seven years, Saudi Arabia has used its oil wealth to fund a brutal war in Yemen, responsible for the deaths of over a quarter of a million people.