Who is Just Stop Oil, who funds its activities, and what is it protesting about?

Just Stop Oil members have blocked roads and scaled bridges in protests across the UK. Credit: Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil's demonstrations across the UK in recent months have made the group a household name.

The environmental activism group has blocked major roads, scaled bridges, thrown soup over a Vincent van Gogh artwork, and spray painted luxury London shopfronts - including Harrods, Aston Martin and Rolex.

In an effort to force the government into accepting its demands, the group staged 32 days of disruption - from the end of September and throughout October - which the Metropolitan Police said resulted in 677 arrests with 111 people charged.

But what exactly is Just Stop Oil and what is it campaigning for?

What is Just Stop Oil and who is behind it?

Just Stop Oil is an environmental campaign organisation, whose protests have caused widespread disruption to Britons, particularly within central London.

On its official website, Just Stop Oil describes itself as a "coalition of groups".

It's unknown how many members the organisation has, but it claims to be "a rapidly growing movement" which will mobilise more than 3,000 people "from all walks of life to oppose government plans to allow 40 new oil, gas and coal projects by 2025".

What is the group campaigning for?

Just Stop Oil has demanded that the UK government "halt all new licenses and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK".

It says it is applying pressure to Downing Street because of what it calls the "climate crisis".

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How has Just Stop Oil protested?

The group has said it will engage in 'civil resistance' as opposed to other forms of protesting.

Civil resistance involves using tactics "such as strikes, boycotts, mass protests, and many other nonviolent actions to withdraw their cooperation from an oppressive system," according to the International Center of Nonviolent Conflict.

Just Stop Oil claims it has chosen this method because "it’s about resisting a government that is harming us, our freedoms, rights and future, and making them work for us".

In one of its more disruptive stunts, two members of Just Stop Oil scaled the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and stayed there for more than 36 hours, meaning no traffic could cross the Dartford Crossing until they were arrested.

One stunt from Just Stop Oil saw protestors throw a can of tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting. Credit: @JustStop_Oil/Twitter

In another stunt, two Just Stop Oil activists threw a can of tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting at the National Gallery, before gluing their hands beneath the exhibit.

Altthough the painting itself was prevented from being vandalised by a protective case, some damage was caused to its frame.

Just Stop Oil has also targeted major roads, including the M25 and a number of key routes through central London.

And the group has also spray painted buildings throughout the capital, targeting official premises including the Home Office, MI5, New Scotland Yard and the Bank of England, as well as luxury brands' shopfronts, including Harrods, Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin, and Rolex.

The group also targeted the climate sceptic think tank, Global Warming Police Foundation.

Just Stop Oil has spray painted a number of buildings in London. Credit: PA

Who funds Just Stop Oil?

The group says most of its funding comes from the Climate Emergency Fund - a philanthropic network which supports climate activists around the world.

Donations from members of the public also help Just Stop Oil to fund its protests.

What has the government said?

Home Secretary Suella Braverman had previously unveiled plans for a major crackdown on the kind of protest favoured by climate activists.

She said she would hand police new powers to take a more "proactive" approach to some kinds of protests, with measures specifically targeted at the tactics used by some environmental groups.

However, she made the announcement as part of Liz Truss' government and has yet to confirm whether the plans will go ahead under the leadership of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has characterised the climate emergency as the biggest threat facing the world. However he has been clear he supports action against those who do not protest safely and legally.