Climate Change: Portsmouth Just Stop Oil activist's eighth week of protest in Guildhall Square

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

A Portsmouth man has spent eight consecutive week’s outside the civic offices protesting and raising awareness of the climate crisis for Just Stop Oil.

Paul Bleach, 56, has been setting up shop in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, every Friday for the past eight weeks to raise awareness of climate change, and he will continue to do so for as long as necessary. Mr Bleach is calling on the councils to take action and prioritise green policies especially around air quality in the city.

Read More
Electric charging points reinstated in Portsmouth

He said: “This is my Greta Thunberg style protest. What I find mostly is that people feel powerless and they are either incredibly afraid and anxious or they continue their life because they feel there is nothing they can do about it. I firmly believe our government, any government, local councils, their number one duty to their community is a duty of care. I live in hope, you have to have hope and doing something strengthens ones hope, so by being here I hope to cause a change within the system at some point.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Just Stop Oil activist, Paul Bleach, outside Portsmouth Civic Office on Friday, December 21Just Stop Oil activist, Paul Bleach, outside Portsmouth Civic Office on Friday, December 21
Just Stop Oil activist, Paul Bleach, outside Portsmouth Civic Office on Friday, December 21

Each week that Mr Bleach has been protesting he has seen an increase in engagement from the public and he would encourage anyone to join him that wanted to. He added: “I want to encourage hope within the community and people can join me, I will be here every Friday from 10am until 5pm, so if they can support me for an hour then we can expand on hope.”

A Portsmouth City Council spokesperson said: “As a city, we’ve collectively reduced our emissions by 41% since 2012. Climate change is one of the most important and complex challenges society has ever faced. That is why Portsmouth City Council has responded by declaring it will become a net zero carbon organisation by 2030 and is supporting the city on the same journey.

Cllr Kimberley Barrett, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment at Portsmouth City Council said: “The climate emergency is a priority to us all at the council and it is a consideration in all council decisions. Everyone is working together to coordinate our efforts and ensure we continue to reduce carbon and hit our targets.”

Further information on the councils response to climate change can be found by visiting