Among the hell-raising army of Just Stop Oil activists are a dedicated few who are so determined to wreak havoc in the UK they risk their own deportation.
A Czech activist who travelled 800 miles to gridlock the M25, a Kiwi renegade and his German climbing buddy who scaled the Dartford Bridge to cause misery for motorists and a German student-cum-graffiti menace.
This week, jailed Dartford Crossing climber Marcus Decker, 34, was served with a stage one deportation order from his cell in category C Highpoint Prison in Suffolk.
Decker, a German citizen who has leave to remain in the UK, is serving a sentence of two years and seven months for his outrageous actions, after he and JSO wingman Morgan Trowland, 40, used ropes and other climbing equipment to scale the 450ft Queen Elizabeth II bridge over the Thames last October.
A Stage 1 letter in the deportation process notifies the person of the Home Office’s intention to remove them from the UK.
GERMANY: Jailed Marcus Decker who has leave to remain in the UK, said he is expecting a ‘negative response’ after being served with a stage one deportation order. He is pictured during his bridge protest last autumn
Decker blocked the important bridge for the best part of two days causing travel misery for thousands
The environment activist has been served deportation papers for his actions
They are then allowed to explain why they believe they should be able to stay.
Deportation is usually automatic if a criminal’s sentence is over 12 months.
Reacting to the news, an Instagram account linked to Decker said he could be forced out ‘very soon’.
‘Marcus is a German citizen who had leave the remain in the UK,’ the post stated. ‘He is in prison on a 2 year 7 month sentence after taking action to block the QEII bridge on 17 and 18 October 2022 with @just.stopoil.’
It also contained an audio message from Decker, who is being held at Category C Highpoint Prison in Suffolk, where he says: ‘I was seen by an immigration officer the other day and got very bad news.
‘I’ve been served a stage one deportation order, very soon it sounds like, because as my sentence was over 12 months I meet the criteria for automatic deportation, which is very sad, and she said that it’s most likely going to be a negative response after I put all the paperwork in and then get a deportation order which cancels my leave to remain in the UK.
‘I’ve been living here for a few years and with my partner and her kids in a lovely family setting and that’s going to be a terrible disruption to all of our lives.
‘Not being able to live in this country anymore is pretty outrageous given that our action was an action of compassion and love to try to do good in the world.’
But who are the other Just Stop Oil foreign mercenaries and what punishments could they face if convicted and jailed?
Morgan Trowland, 40
New Zealand born civil engineer from Hackney, London
NEW ZEALAND: Morgan Trowland, from Hackney, east London, is in prison for scaling the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at the Dartford Crossing last year
The 40-year-old, who originally hails from New Zealand, is a veteran of climate change protests
Decker’s sidekick Morgan Trowland also climbed the Dartford Crossing last year and was imprisoned for his actions.
He is currently serving a three year jail sentence for his part in the action – one of the heaviest ever handed out to a climate activist in the UK.
Prior to being jailed, Trowland enjoyed infamy as a serial law breaker with a series of disruptive stunts across the country.
In the past he has taken part in demonstrations by various anarchist groups, including XR, and has ended up in court multiple times.
In May 2021 Trowland was among nine XR protester to glue themselves to Tower Bridge, closing the inner-city traffic artery.
Trowland was also one of the ringleaders of the September 2020 blockade of the Hertfordshire newspaper print works.
He bragged that he had designed the two giant bamboo structures that were erected outside the factory to stop production, while he describes himself as being ‘obsessed with bamboo tensegrity [tensile integrity] and how it WILL change the world’ on his Twitter profile.
The civil engineer has bragged about building bamboo structures to be used at protests by groups such as Extinction Rebellion
The XR action stopped three and a half million newspapers – including the Daily Mail, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and the Evening Standard – from being distributed across the country.
Trowland was later ordered to pay £334 in fines and costs at St Albans Magistrates’ Court.
In April 2019 he also was one of a number ‘Tree of Life’ protesters who were arrested for public disorder in the City of London.
He was found guilty of the offence at the City of London Magistrates’ Court but given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £500 costs.
Since being jailed earlier this year, Trowland has continued his activism behind bars and updates his supporters with pithy insights into his new caged existence.
In one recent post titled ‘How prison improved my mental health’, the activist brags about his new cosy life.
He writes: ‘I can call a list of 20 people in the UK and New Zealand from the privacy of my cell. I can receive letters and incoming emails are printed for me daily. I can hand write replies to emails and even add sketches.
‘I can post writings or drawings. Up to three friends at once can visit me twice a month for an hour and a half; I could also have occasional zoom calls. People can send me books, or I can borrow them from the library.
‘I can power walk around a grassy yard for 30 minutes each day and go to the gym twice a week, even play badminton. My cell has a TV and a kettle. I can order groceries and snacks once a week, and even radios and other gadgets from Argos.’
Current laws state that any foreign national will be automatically deported if they have been sentenced to more than 12 months in prison.
It is not known whether Trowland has also received a deportation order and the Home Office refused to comment.
Arne Springorum, 50
Czech disrupter and geologist
CZECH REPUBLIC: Geologist Arne Springorum helped shut the M25 near junction 13, Godstone, Surrey on November 7 after scaling the gantry above the highway, pictured
Czech eco-zealot Arne Springorum caused chaos on the M25 by climbing onto a gantry as part of a Just Stop Oil protest last year – despite not living in the country!
Geologist Arne Springorum admitted causing a public nuisance by helping to close Britain’s busiest motorway near junction 13, Godstone, Surrey on November 7.
The 50-year-old Quaker was part of an army of climate change activists to cause pandemonium around London shutting down roads and causing misery for thousands.
Springorum escaped jail for his actions after taking a 24-hour, 800-mile bus trip from Prague to London to attend a 15-minute sentencing hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in December.
Like Trowland, the Czech national is a serial disrupter with his November stunt being the second time he had brought the M25 to a standstill following a demonstration with Insulate Britain a year earlier.
But rather than face the consequences of his dangerous actions, the father-of-four, who holds both German and Czech citizenship, was sentenced to six months, suspended for two years and walked free.
Rubbing salt into the wounds, the protester spoke from the dock to lambast the British justice system, saying: ‘I don’t understand the system, there are people going to jail. This is really important, I will respect this court, but I disagree with the way the court is dealing with it.’
The eco-zealot from the Czech Republic walked free of court after being handed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years for closing the M25 for a second time in a year after a protest with Insulate Britain in 2021. He is pictured outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court
Since escaping a custodial sentence, an unrepentant Springorum has announced he has become a ‘full time climate activist’.
Sharing a tribute to fellow M25 climber Jan Goody, who was jailed for XYZ for his actions, he bragged off the ‘Christmas deal’ of a sentence he had received.
He wrote: ‘Jan was with me on the gantry action, the same day, we had spent the preceding days together. i saw traffic on the M25 peter out due to his gantry climb 5 km north of me.
‘He was sentenced a day before me and his verdict got me both scared and as well as committed. it all turned out differently, as my sentencing was postponed by a month and then I possibly got the ‘Christmas deal’ of a suspended sentence.
‘Reading what Jan writes about his experience while doing time is like reading about my theoretically plausible experience that did not happen – yet? Thank you, Jan, for walking the talk for us all.’
Frieda Luerken, 24
German student activist
GERMANY: Frieda Luerken, the partner of Just Stop Oil activist Roger Hallam, outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court, London
Roger Hallam, 56, (left) met German Frieda Luerken, 24, (right) when she was a student at Cardiff University around four years ago where she graffitied its buildings because they invested in Shell and BP
German Frieda Luerken, 24, has become an important figure in the world of eco-disruption at a very young age, aided in part by her relationship with the founder of the UK’s Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil movements, Roger Hallam, 56.
The pair met when she was a student at Cardiff University around four years ago where she graffitied its buildings because they invested in Shell and BP.
Frieda, who was born in Dresden, moved to the UK via Belarus.
Hallam, who has a daughter the same age as his partner, then co-founded the XR movement with the psychology graduate before they moved in together in London and started Insulate Britain as a ‘lockdown lovechild’.
Hallam recently said online: ‘Myself and my partner Frieda are now in a permanent rented flat. It has a spare room in which to organise the coming revolution. It is perfect. But I need money to afford it’.
As part of their self-styled ‘rebel life’, they have since expanded again to help run Just Stop Oil, the unpopular group causing carnage for ordinary Britons by blocking roads including the M25 as well as smashing petrol stations and shutting down refineries.
Frieda attended the exclusive St. Benno Gymnasium, a German secondary school in Dresden.
It is a highly selective elite fee-paying private school founded in 1709 and Latin is mandatory for all students.
Prior to beginning her degree in Cardiff, she took a gap year volunteering with victims of Nazi Germany in Belarus. She spent a year living there.
She and Hallam have repeatedly moved over recent years, with her boyfriend relying on monthly donations from supporters to get by.
Roger Hallam, pictured being arrested at Heathrow in 2019, is a serial and prominent climate aggravator
In a series of Facebook posts Hallam would beg for somewhere for them to stay. In one he said: ‘I need to leave my present accommodation and need a room for myself and my partner. We both leave early and come back late on most days such is the life of rebels’.
Frieda lists her jobs on LinkedIn as Movement Accelerator Coordinator for the International Planned Parenthood Federation pressure group.
Her other role is listed as Co-Founder of Extinction Rebellion UK. Her duties include: ‘Creating and implementing training plans, facilitating planning processes and ecruiting and onboarding new volunteers’.
On occasions when Hallam has been in custody, Frieda has taken over his Facebook account to update supporters and also urge them to send him letters.
After one post where she said he was on hunger strike in Pentonville Jail. Admitting she was mistaken, she wrote: ‘Apparently, Roger has not been on hunger strike at all – I suppose that kind of miscommunication happens when you don’t allow someone to speak with anyone, including their lawyer, for more than a week’.
She later wrote: ‘Pentonville doesn’t look like it’s ever been the crown jewel of British prisons but Covid 19 has made the situation even worse. Roger is mostly being denied vegan or vegetarian food. It took him 7 days to get hold of a pillow.
‘For five days, he could only leave the cell one single time for 40 minutes. What’s possibly worst for him is that he can’t access the prison library, meaning that he spends most of his time writing and watching the evening.’