Just Stop Oil fanatics brought chaos to central London again today as zealots lay on the road and sprayed an orange substance over the front door of a building associated with climate change sceptics and Brexit-backing think-tanks.
Footage showed a fanatic dousing the front of 55 Tufton Street in Westminster, home to the Global Warming Policy Foundation and other fossil fuel lobby groups, in the liquid this morning.
A furious taxi driver was seen driving over the pavement as zealots lay in the middle of nearby Horseferry Road to block traffic.
The Metropolitan Police arrested one person on suspicion of criminal damage after receiving reports that protesters were spray-painting the building.
The protester, who Just Stop Oil said was a ‘normal guy from south London’, said he attacked the property in an attempt to fight ‘big oil, famine, pestilence and war’.
Today’s stunt marks the environmental mob’s 27th protest this month and comes a day after police arrested a group of Just Stop Oil protesters who threw chocolate cake in the face of a waxwork of King Charles III at Madame Tussauds in central London.
Just Stop Oil activist sprays an orange substance over the headquarters of climate-change-sceptic lobby groups today
An eco-zealot vandalised the exterior of 55 Tufton Street in Westminster at around 11.10am
A furious taxi driver drives over the pavement while protesters from the group laid in the middle of Horseferry Road, near Tufton Street in central London, to block traffic
Just Stop Oil supporters block traffic on Horseferry Road after spray-painting 55 Tufton Street
Just Stop Oil protesters have blocked roads and bridges in the capital in order to highlight their demand that the government stops new oil and gas projects
Just Stop Oil’s month of chaos in London with 27 protests in 25 days
Here are the main protests that have taken place so far this month:
October 1 – Bridge blockades
In its first protest of the month, Just Stop Oil protesters block Waterloo, Westminster, Lambeth and Vauxhall bridges by sitting in the road.
October 10 – Mob on the Mall
Around 30 Just Stop Oil supporters set up a roadblock on the Mall stopping traffic in both directions.
October 14 – Sunflowers stunt
Two Just Stop Oil protesters Anna Holland, 20, from Newcastle, and Phoebe Plummer, 21, throw soup at Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in the National Gallery in central London. Other zealots sprayed orange paint over the New Scotland Yard HQ’s sign in Westminster, London.
October 17 – Dartford Crossing
Drivers are unable to use the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, which links Kent and Essex, after it is blocked by demonstrators climbed into the structure and suspended themselves from it.
Saturday – Islington
Roughly 20 protesters walk into the road in north London and stop traffic at Upper Street and Islington Green at 12pm. Some supporters glue themselves onto the tarmac and others used locked ons.
Sunday – Abbey Road
Members of the eco-mob stroll onto the pedestrian crossing – made famous by The Beatles album of the same name – at 1pm on Sunday and sit on it before being arrested.
Yesterday – Madame Tussauds
Two protesters smear chocolate cake in the face of a waxwork of King Charles at Madame Tussauds before being arrested by police.
Today – 55 Tufton Street
A protester sprayed an orange substance over the front of 55 Tufton Street in Westminster, home to the Global Warming Policy Foundation and other fossil fuel lobby groups.
‘We’re here today to fight the the malicious nature of oil – big oil,’ the protester proclaimed outside 55 Tufton Street. ‘The big oil will eventually force millions [to be] displaced from their low-lying, seabed countries.
‘What happens when you get millions fleeing? You get famine, pestilence and war.
‘The people in this building don’t care about that, quite honestly. They’ve got their snouts in the trough. The snouts in trough are big pharma, big oil.’
He said he was protesting for his children and grandchildren and called on others to join the cause, saying: ‘Support us. Support Just Stop Oil.’
Just Stop Oil released a statement after the incident saying: ‘Politics is broken. It was broken here in Tufton Street by shady lobbyists who now stalk the corridors of power.
‘Liz Truss’s toxic pro-oil policies helped end her career – and unless we ditch them, they’ll finish us off too.’
The group added: ‘Ordinary people are taking direct action against the Government – the person blocking your route to work could be your neighbour, your local council worker, or the man who served you at Tesco.
‘Think about what makes normal people choose to take such drastic action, and then join them.’
Today’s incident is the latest in a long list of disruptive stunts by Just Stop Oil in recent weeks.
They have previously blocked the Dartford Bridge, tipped tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers, spray-painted the iconic glass frontage of Harrods orange and glued themselves to London’s Abbey Road crossing.
Yesterday police arrested protesters from the group for vandalising a waxwork of King Charles at Madame Tussauds.
Footage showed two of the eco zealots walking up to the wax figure at the famous London attraction at around 10.50am before taking off their tops to reveal Just Stop Oil T-shirts.
One of them shouts ‘this is a time for action’ before they both smear it with cake.
As onlookers shout ‘stop’, the female protester begins a finger-wagging lecture about climate change while her male counterpart stands awkwardly with his arms crossed.
Just Stop Oil identified the pair as Eilidh McFadden, a 20-year-old from Glasgow, and Tom Johnson, 29, a painter decorator from Sunderland. They had bought tickets to Madame Tussauds and wore black tops to cover their T-shirts.
The Met Police confirmed yesterday that the pair had been arrested for criminal damage alongside two others. Nearby waxworks of Camilla, William and Kate emerged unscathed.
McFadden said: ‘We are here because we seek to protect our freedoms and rights, because we seek to protect this green and pleasant land which is the inheritance of us all. Last year, at Cop26 in Glasgow, Queen Elizabeth said: ”The time for words has moved to the time for action”.’
She added: ‘The science is clear. The demand is simple: just stop new oil and gas. It’s a piece of cake.’
King Charles III is a passionate environmental campaigner who has long spoken about the dangers of global warming. He had planned to travel to Egypt for Cop27, but has since abandoned plans to do so after it was claimed former prime minister Liz Truss warned him against attending.
McFadden was among a group of 20 activists who, in May, blocked the entrance to the Nustar Clydebank oil terminal near Glasgow. They were eventually forcibly removed by police.
Footage shows two of the eco morons walking up to the waxwork at the famous London attraction before taking off their tops to reveal Just Stop Oil T-shirts yesterday
One of the activists shouts ‘this is a time for action’ before they both smear the waxwork with cake
Onlookers can be heard shouting ‘stop’ during yesterday’s bizarre protest in central London
As onlookers shout ‘stop’, the female protester begins a finger-wagging lecture about climate change while her male counterpart stands awkwardly
Just Stop Oil identified the pair as Eilidh McFadden, a 20-year-old from Glasgow and Tom Johnson, 29, a painter decorator from Sunderland
The latest acts of protest come as splits emerged within the radical eco movement, with activists at odds over which stunts protesters should pull to get people’s attention.
Just Stop Oil mastermind Roger Hallam has called on his organisation to take extreme action, arguing that ‘nothing happens’ unless you upset the public.
However, Rupert Read, former spokesman for Extinction Rebellion (XR), has urged the group to focus on attracting new members to its cause instead of flashy demonstrations.
Mr Read argues the current ‘radical’ actions pose ‘significant barriers’ when recruiting new activists to join the cause.
XR inspired the seemingly more radical groups Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain. Both groups were founded and run by experienced members of XR.
Mr Hallam, a co-founder member of XR, actually left the group to pursue a more radical extreme path. He now co-ordinates behind the scenes for Just Stop Oil.
‘If we’re going to win, we need a lot of people on board. I’m trying to create a moderate flank,’ Mr Read, a professor at the University of East Anglia, has argued, according to The Times.
‘What I want to see, and what I believe will occur, is a much larger mobilisation of people more moderate than Extinction Rebellion but more radical than any existing mainstream groups.’
Mr Read argued the climate change movement has to ‘be ready to grow exponentially’ which means activism groups must ‘lower barriers to entry’.
‘The reality is, a lot of people feel there are significant barriers of entry for them with radical and environmental activism,’ he argued.
‘I don’t think [the movement has] done such a good job to people with different political opinions and it’s not done a terribly good job of being inclusive to people of a different class background.’
The activist argued ‘most people need to engage in non-violent direct action’ and that having individuals take meaningful action on a smaller scale would ‘be a game-changer’.
He said: ‘If we had a lot more people being determined that their employers or the institution where they spend most of their time should be serious about moving really fast, about reducing their climate and diversity impacts, that would be a game changer.’
Climate activists are at odds over what actions protesters should take to get the public’s attention. Pictured: Phoebe Plummer, 21, left, and Anna Holland, 20, during a Just Stop Oil protest in which they threw two tins of Heinz tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers in the National Gallery in central London on October 14
Just Stop Oil urged protesters to take extreme actions, arguing that ‘nothing happens’ unless you upset the public. Pictured: An activist lays in a hammock over the Dartford Crossing during a demonstration last week
However, Extinction Rebellion has urged members to focus on attracting new members to its cause instead of flashy demonstrations. Pictured: An XR protester scaling London Underground tube at Canning Town station at rush hour in 2019
One XR leader argued the ‘radical’ actions the groups have been taking pose ‘significant barriers’ when recruiting new activists to join the cause. Pictured: Insulate Britain activists blocking traffic on the M25 last year
Just Stop Oil protesters spray orange paint over the Aston Martin car showroom on Park Lane in London on October 16
However, Mr Hallam has taken a different approach to gather support, telling environmental enthusiasts: ‘If you don’t upset people enough, then nothing happens.’
‘If you upset people too much, like traditionally with violence, then you’re dead as well. But then there’s a sweet spot.’
He added: ‘No one knows where that sweet spot is, but as a general rule of thumb it’s a lot higher up than you think.’
Just Stop Oil is pushing activists to act boldly and encourages ‘high level disruption and intense mobilisation.’
Tim Hewes, a retired church of England priest affiliated with the group, told members: ‘If you’re not already in custody or dead we need you.’
The group also stresses the benefits of its ‘support system’ which includes no-fee lawyers that can help anyone who gets arrested over demonstrative action.
Additionally, members have access to an emotional support hotline with ‘climate crisis aware’ professionals and safe houses ‘where somebody will cook you dinner’.
It recently emerged the group is being funded by a coalition of wealthy individuals from California, including Aileen Getty – the granddaughter of oil tycoon J Paul Getty – and that some of this money is used to pay activists.
In response to a report in The Times last weekend, a spokesman for the group confirmed that ‘some people supporting Just Stop Oil do receive a small income’.
Ms Getty, who lives in the United States and can draw on her family’s estimated $5.4 billion (£3.7 billion) fortune, has been helping to fund the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), a US non-profit that gives grants and funds to activists around the world, including Just Stop Oil.
This has sparked accusations from one MP that ‘foreign millionaires’ are funding eco mobs ‘to do their dirty work without any intention of coming out of the shadows and exposing themselves to democratic accountability’.
To date, Ms Getty has been thought to have given more than £800,000 ($1million) of her own money to the organisation, which has also counts Hollywood director Adam McKay among its supporters.
The CEF in turn has given out more than £6million to groups such as Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil, the latter of which have caused havoc in the UK in recent months.
Ms Getty’s grandfather, J Paul Getty, was at one time the world’s richest man.