Three fathers, one of whom was from Totnes, were among 11 Devon Just Stop Oil supporters slow marching in London last week to demand the UK government end all new oil and gas licences.

A total of 70 from the West Country travelled to the capital to slow march continuously each day, bringing traffic to a standstill on major roads and enraging many motorists.

Two fathers took part in a special “dads’ march” on Thursday morning (July 13), which ended in a short occupation of Selfridges department store.

The dads marched through the store with signs saying ‘fathers for a future’ and ‘will our children survive 3.5 degrees?’ at one point posing next to a Delorean, the iconic car from ‘Back to the Future’.

They were muscled out of the store by security guards after 15 minutes.

Darcy Mitchell, 48, a father from Totnes, who was also marching with Just Stop Oil this week, said: 

“I’m a parent, so I have to be here. This crisis has killed hundreds of thousands of children, and it’s getting worse in front of our eyes.

‘‘I won’t let our government prioritise donations from fossil fuel interests over human lives.

‘‘That’s my responsibility as a parent.

‘‘My children know I will protect them.”

One of those in Selfridges was Dave Kilroy, a dad of two from Plymouth, who said: 

“Nobody likes it when an alarm rings, they’re annoying and disruptive – but we’ve all been ignoring the climate emergency alarm for too long and we really can’t afford to do that anymore.

‘‘It’s time to wake up, listen to the experts, and stop issuing new oil licences. 

“We’re on course for our world to heat by three degrees or more this century, a world where we see mass starvation, severe droughts, and untold suffering for billions of people – and this is not a future I accept for my kids. I’m marching with Just Stop Oil because civil resistance is our only hope.

‘‘I urge everyone to pick a side: life or death, and then just us on the streets.”

Another on the march was Lewis Sleeman, 45, a small business owner from Exeter, who said: 

“Like so many people, I’m really concerned about the deadly effects of the climate crisis – floods, droughts, crop failures, heatwaves, storms, and wildfires which are now regularly featured in our news headlines.

“I’m also angry that this government is consistently failing to take the basic steps necessary to keep us safe, instead focusing its attention on demonising and criminalising ordinary people like us, while protecting the profits of big fossil fuel companies like Shell, BP and Equinor.

“Taking disruptive action like this is uncomfortable and none of us wants to be here – but this is a life and death issue for our children and billions of kids around the globe and I will not be a bystander while their futures are destroyed.”