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Just Stop Oil sign.jpg
Alamy
Just Stop Oil sign.jpg
Alamy
World News

Retired priest who became Just Stop Oil protestor says he was called by God

by Sophie Drew

Just Stop Oil activists have disrupted traffic on the M25 for the fourth day in a row. 

Yesterday, a police officer was injured when he tried to stop protestors. 

Activists scaled road signs, forcing officers to follow suit in an effort to bring them down.

It's generated some bad feeling amongst people affected by the action, including those stuck in traffic for hours. 

However, Rev Mark Coleman - a retired priest in the Diocese of Manchester - says it was his faith that brought him to the cause.

Rev Coleman was imprisoned in HMP Birmingham for a week in September after breaking an injunction blocking him from protesting outside an oil depot. 

As a member of Christian Climate Action, Just Stop Oil and, previously, Insulate Britain, he believes the sacrifice is worth it.

He told Premier Christian News: "I felt very called to it, and I know many other members of Christian Climate Action and lots of Christians have.

"I think it seems like it's not what we should be doing - disrupting and drawing attention to ourselves - but what it's in the tradition, I guess, is of Ghandi, and his resistance of the British Empire, the nonviolent resistance.

"Martin Luther King, particularly, and the story of the Freedom Riders -  people who fought against segregation, but again, by making their own sacrifice, courageously opening themselves up to the violence of others to try and draw attention to the obscenity that was happening of segregation. 

"Here we face the end of our civilisation, and the end of human life."

"So we have to act in love, in truth against the authorities that are saying it'll all be okay when we know it's not okay."
 

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