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Just Stop Oil considers slashing famous artworks as it threatens to ‘escalate’ protests | UK News


Just Stop Oil protesters are considering cutting popular artworks as they threaten to “escalate” their protests.

The Controversial climate activists have also called on England captain Harry Kane to wear the captain’s armband carrying their message at Qatar World Cup.

The group is planning More disruption in the run-up to Christmas in the live action campaign, which included blocking roads, spraying buildings with orange paint, and defacing famous works of art.

Among the demonstrations, protesters have Throw soup at Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and glued to the frames of several masterpieces, prompting one art critic to call them “idiots”.

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Pour soup over Van Gogh paintings

Alex De Koning, a spokesman for Just Stop Oil, said it was “crazy” that “more people are outraged” about activists targeting works of art than the devastating floods in Pakistan, which have caused thousands of deaths. million people have to be displaced.

The 24-year-old – who describes himself as a “climate scientist” – told Sky News the protest group could follow in the footsteps of voters, who “violently cut pictures to convey their message”.

In 1914, Mary Richardson attacked Diego Velazquez’s painting The Rokeby Venus with a butcher knife to protest the arrest of Emmeline Pankhurst.

Later that year, elector Anne Hunt entered the National Portrait Gallery and broke into a painting by Thomas Carlyle, one of the gallery’s trustees.

Mr De Koning said the targeting of famous artworks had “marked an escalation” in Just Stop Oil’s action and warned it would “continue to escalate unless the government meets its demands”. our needs” to prevent future oil and gas projects.

He told Sky News: “If things need to escalate then we will draw inspiration from successful movements of the past and we will do everything we can.

“If that’s unfortunately what it needs, then unfortunately, that’s what it needs.

“We’re fighting for our lives, why should we do less?”

Asked directly if future protests could involve the mutilation of artwork, the spokesperson replied: “There’s a chance it will at some point in the future. future, yes.”

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Oil protesters glued to the masterpiece

‘Not afraid of prison’

Two Just Stop Oil activists, Hannah Hunt and Eden Lazarus, will face trial on Tuesday charged with criminal damage to The Hay Wain by John Constable.

The couple glued themselves to the picture frame and attached their own image of an “apocalyptic vision of the future”.

Last week, a Just Stop Oil protester has been jailed for having glued himself to a Van Gogh canvas in a gallery in London.

A judge said the 18th-century frame had been “permanently damaged” by the stunt, as Louis McKechnie was jailed for three weeks and fellow activist Emily Brocklebank received a 21-day, suspended sentence for six month.

Louis McKechnie and Emily Brocklebank.  Photo: Just Stop Oil
Picture:
Louis McKechnie and Emily Brocklebank were glued to the picture. Photo: Just Stop Oil

Mr De Koning said Just Stop Oil activists “will not be intimidated by the possibility of jail time”.

“At least in prison you have three meals a day, shelter and water,” he said.

“In 20 years, who knows if that will still happen to millions of people.”

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Mashed potatoes thrown at the painting Monet

Why are protesters targeting art – and do they get support?

Climate activists have targeted famous works of art around the world in recent months.

In Germany, protesters throw mashed potatoes at Monet’s Les Meules draw pictures against the exploitation of fossil fuels.

And in Australia, two climate activists were arrested after paste yourself to the frame of Picasso’s Massacre in Korea.

After Just Stop Oil activists threw soup at a Van Gogh painting, art critic Waldemar Januszczak called the stunt “pathetic”.

He wrote on Twitter: “Take your anger out on the oil companies, you idiots, not the innocent art.”

However musicians and activists Bob Geldof speaks out in support to the protesters, saying their actions were “1,000% correct” and that it was “wise” to degrade the famous 1888 painting while it was covered with a sheet of glass.

Mr De Koning said the stunt had “sparked international dialogues” and that protests targeting works of art were “probably” more effective than blocking roads.

“There are actually a lot of people talking about the climate crisis in a way that other protests in the past have failed to do,” said a doctoral student at Newcastle University.

“We tried to protest outside the Chinese embassy and do other things but it was not reported.

“Because there was no damage (to the Van Gogh painting), there was a lot of support as well as a lot of controversy.”

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Oil Just Cui: ‘Do you love me?’

Who is organizing art demonstrations around the world?

Mr De Koning declined to say who first suggested climate protesters should target works of art, saying he could not discuss it for “legal reasons”.

The groups involved, including Germany’s Last Generation and Just Stop Oil in the UK, operate independently and no one is believed to direct the actions.

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Activists target Klimt . painting

According to TIME, clinical psychologist Margaret Klein Salamon is perhaps the person closest to the global mastermind of the protests.

She is the executive director of a group called the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), which distributes money from wealthy donors to “support disruptive protests”.

She told the magazine that CEF doesn’t fund anything illegal with its grants, which typically range from $35,000 (£29,000) to $80,000 (£67,000).

But Ms Salamon added that disruptive protests were like fire alarms to “wake us up”.

“Playing by the rules, taking the normal step by step, we are going down the cliff,” she said.

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Activists are dragged away after sticking themselves in the picture

Just Stop Oil considers ‘new tactics’

Asked if activists felt guilty for defacing the artwork, Mr. De Koning said: “It’s obviously terrible. Yes, of course, we don’t want to do things like that. so.

“The question you need to ask is why are students, grandparents, engineers, doctors, nurses doing these things? It’s because our government is committing crimes.”

He added that if action is not taken to stop new oil and gas projects “millions more will die and be unable to appreciate that piece of art”.

Protesters from the climate protest group Just Stop Oil glue their hands to the frame of a replica of Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper inside the Royal Academy, London.  Date taken: Tuesday, July 5, 2022.
Picture:
Protesters glue their hands to the frame of a replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper

“We wouldn’t even have a habitable planet for this piece of art and for us to inhabit,” Mr. De Koning said.

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson confirmed more disruptions are planned before Christmas, saying it will be “mostly roadblocks” but “it’s always good to have new tactics”.

The group said it would stop taking direct action if the government announced it would immediately halt all future fossil fuel exploration and production permits in the UK.

Read more:
Who is Just Stop Oil?
Just Stop Oil ‘should be named a terrorist group’

Harry Kane wears the UEFA One Love captain's armband

Calling on Kane to wear the captain armband Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil has now urged Harry Kane to wear the captain’s armband to show his message at the World Cup in Qatar, home to one of the world’s largest reserves of oil and natural gas.

Kane was supposed to wear the OneLove captaincy to support the LGBT+ community at the World Cup – homosexuality is illegal in Qatar – but in the UK give up the plan after FIFA threatened to put the players wearing it.

Mr. De Koning said: “A lot of people really respect Harry Kane…so a lot of people will be affected by (he wears the captaincy of Just Stop Oil).”

The spokesperson pointed out that Gary Lineker tweeted a message about Just Stop Oil after a protester disrupted a Premier League game and Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton defended activists after they invade the Silverstone track in the British Grand Prix.

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said: “These people have such a platform that they can use, so I ask them to consider their responsibility to future generations and do a good deed. as simple as wearing an armband.”

“It won’t make a huge difference to (Kane)’s day-to-day life but it could have a big impact on people.”

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