A young male climate activist covered the exterior of the Aston Martin showroom in Central London on Sunday with orange spray paint to end new fossil fuel licensing. He is a member of the environmental activist group Just Stop Oil.
Other demonstrators from the group blocked Park Lane and some glued themselves to the road, an activity known as “locking on,” according to Sky News.
In the video below, as paint dripped from the large plate glass windows behind him, he shouted to the crowd that had gathered to watch: “We will not be stopped, by injunctions that are intended to silence protest. We’re a nonviolent civil disobedience movement. We know that the changes in the laws, the injunctions against us are irrelevant in comparison to mass starvation, with the genocidal policies that our government is pushing for. We’ve got 100 new fossil fuel licenses in the North Sea.”
But instead of engaging with him, many bystanders were laughing at him. Dressed in a colorful sports bra, a bright red pleated skirt that fell from his hips, and an open black hoody, it was impossible to take him seriously.
Will there be no end to this nonsense? Climate change activists vandalize an Aston Martin showroom to protest oil. pic.twitter.com/hcmsKnyQ2d
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 16, 2022
This incident happened at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Nadhim Zahawi, held a meeting earlier that morning to “outline plans to crack down on such protests as part of the Public Order Bill,” Sky News reported. “A new criminal offense would be created for disrupting the functioning of key infrastructure such as airports, railways and oil refineries.”
The officials also applied for an injunction against the group that has wreaked havoc in recent weeks.
The report said, under the new plan, “locking on,” will be punishable by either six months in prison or “an unlimited fine.”
Sunday’s incident was only the latest in a series of “direct action” protests to damage property in the British capital.
On Friday morning, two female members of this group threw cans of tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers” painting located in London’s National Gallery, according to CBS News. Fortunately, the canvas was protected by glass.
After hurling the soup, the two protesters “locked on” to the wall beneath the painting. After they’d been detached, they were arrested by the Metropolitan Police.
The group issued a statement demanding the U.K. government stop all new oil and gas projects, CBS reported.
In the tweet below, the group blamed the oil and gas industry for today’s record inflation and the current climate crisis. They asked, “Is art worth more than life? More than food? More than justice?”
🌻🥫 BREAKING: SOUP THROWN ON VAN GOGH’S ‘SUNFLOWERS’ 🥫🌻
🖼 Is art worth more than life? More than food? More than justice?
🛢 The cost of living crisis and climate crisis is driven by oil and gas.#FreeLouis #FreeJosh #CivilResistance #A22Network #JustStopOil #NoNewOil pic.twitter.com/18T2zSP2ws
— Just Stop Oil ⚖️💀🛢 (@JustStop_Oil) October 14, 2022
Amazingly, although the entire stunt was recorded by the gallery’s surveillance cameras, the pair plead not guilty in court.
Activists with @JustStop_Oil have thrown tomato soup on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the national Gallery and glued themselves to the wall. pic.twitter.com/M8YP1LPTOU
— Damien Gayle (@damiengayle) October 14, 2022
Fortune Magazine reported that climate activists have blocked London bridges and intersections in recent weeks. And in July, “activists glued themselves to the frame of an early copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, and to John Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’ in the National Gallery.”
Clearly, the government needs to address this crime wave with some “direct action” of its own. As for the climate activist in the sports bra and the red skirt, six months in jail would be the best thing that could ever happen to him.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.