Eco protesters release statement amid condemnation from Tories and Labour

Just Stop Oil protesters on top of a tanker at one of their demonstrations

Just Stop Oil protesters on top of a tanker at one of their demonstrations - Credit: Just Stop Oil

A protest group which is blocking oil terminals throughout the East of England has said the government must "get a grip and stop oil".

Just Stop Oil protesters released an Easter statement yesterday (Monday, April 11) amid fuel shortages throughout the region and condemnation from Downing Street and the Labour Party.

The statement comes after daily protests since April 1 which have halted oil distribution at key depots, including sites at Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire and Thurrock, Essex.

Just Stop Oil protesters in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

Just Stop Oil protesters in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire - Credit: Just Stop Oil

The protesters' statement reads: "At this critical moment we find ourselves, as others have through history, having to do what is unpopular, to break the law to prevent a much greater harm taking place."

They added: "The Just Stop Oil coalition has formed in response to a single truth: that this world, our only home, will be unliveable due to current government policies to extract more oil and gas from the North Sea.

"With this knowledge it is 'frankly dangerous' to remain silent.

"We can not be bystanders while people, communities and countries across the world are sentenced to death because our government refused to get a grip and stop oil."

Protesters inside the Buncefield Oil Terminal, Hemel Hempstead on April 3

Protesters inside the Buncefield Oil Terminal, Hemel Hempstead on April 3 - Credit: Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil is not the only climate group to warn of catastrophe.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Mitigation of Climate Change report last week (Monday, April 4).

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: "Some government and business leaders are saying one thing—but doing another.    

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"Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic."

HGV fuel ran out on the M11 at Birchanger Green services, on the Essex-Hertfordshire border

HGV fuel ran out on the M11 at Birchanger Green services, on the Essex-Hertfordshire border - Credit: Terry Harris

A sign warning of a fuel shortage in Hunstanton, Norfolk

A sign warning of a fuel shortage in Hunstanton, Norfolk - Credit: Chris Bishop/Archant

The Labour Party has called for tough sanctions against Just Stop Oil activists.

A party spokesperson said: "Motorists were already being hammered by prices at the pump, and now millions can’t even access fuel.

"The government must immediately impose injunctions to put a stop to this disruption."

With fuel pumps out of action at some petrol stations, queues developed first-thing on Monday, April 11

With fuel pumps out of action at some petrol stations, queues developed first-thing on Monday, April 11 - Credit: Terry Harris

A BP garage in Soham, Cambridgeshire, where fuel had run out

A BP garage in Soham, Cambridgeshire, where fuel had run out - Credit: Terry Harris

A spokesperson for the Conservative government said: "We recognise the strength of feeling and the right to protest is a cornerstone of our democracy, but we won’t tolerate guerrilla tactics that obstruct people going about their day-to-day business."

They added: "We fully support the police who are putting significant resource into their response to the demonstrations."

Protesters have been photographed climbing on lorries, locking themselves to pipework and digging tunnels.

They said they will not stop their actions until the government releases a statement saying it will halt plans for new oil projects in the UK.

Police have made more than 800 arrests throughout the country, protesters claim.

Chaos at Tesco in Hampton, Peterborough, as only half the petrol station was open

Chaos at Tesco in Hampton, Peterborough, as only half the petrol station was open - Credit: Terry Harris