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Just Stop Oil liken tactics to ‘saving child from a burning building’ as two arrested for vandalism

Just Stop Oil defended their tactics today as an activist likened the eco mob’s protests to breaking a window in order to save a child from a burning building.

It comes as two climate activists were arrested for criminal damage this morning after they sprayed orange paint on luxury car showrooms in Berkeley Square, central London.

The group has been behind a number of headline grabbing stunts in recent weeks, including throwing tomato soup over a Van Gogh’s Sunflower painting at the National Gallery and chocolate cake in the face of a waxwork of King Charles III at Madame Tussauds.

Were you in Berkeley Square this morning and saw what happened? 

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Indigo Rumbelow, a Just Stop Oil protester, appeared on BBC Radio 4 this morning to defend the group’s tactics while being quizzed over when it is acceptable to break the law in order to further their aims.

Ms Rumblelow argued there were ‘many times’ when it is acceptable for people break the law, giving examples of breaking a window to save a child from a burning house and when new oil and gas is being pursued by governments despite warnings from the global scientific community. 

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that Just Stop Oil use tactics ‘to disturb everyday life’ and ensure that everyone is aware of the ‘very very serious’ threat of climate change.

She continued: ‘There’s many times when I’m sure you will agree that it’s correct that people break the law. If there is a burning house and I want to save a child I will break a window causing criminal damage.

‘If there’s a government who’s persecuting a group of peoples, I will hide them in my house no matter what the risk to myself is. If there’s a government pursuing new oil and gas despite the warnings of the global scientific community, then I will stop them.’

Later this morning, two Just Stop Oil protesters were arrested after spraying orange paint over luxury HR Owen, Bugatti, Ferrari and Bentley car showrooms in Berkeley Square, central London. 

A by-passer could be heard saying: ‘What are you doing? You’re a disgrace’ as the two eco activists doused the car showrooms with the orange substance from a fire extinguisher at around 8.30am on Wednesday, marking the eco mob’s 26th day of protests this month.

Just Stop Oil said that Emma Brown, 31, and Carmen Lean, 28, had travelled down from Scotland to carry out the stunt to demand that the government halts all new oil and gas licences and consents.

Police have detained a Just Stop Oil activist for dousing luxury car showrooms with orange paint on Wednesday morning 

Cleaners have begun removing the spray paint Just Stop Oil doused over the luxury car showrooms in Berkeley Square this morning

Cleaners have begun removing the spray paint Just Stop Oil doused over the luxury car showrooms in Berkeley Square this morning

The Ferrari and HR Owen luxury car dealerships on Berkeley Square were among the showrooms to be targeted by eco zealots

The Ferrari and HR Owen luxury car dealerships on Berkeley Square were among the showrooms to be targeted by eco zealots

Afterwards, they stood outside the showroom and explained the reason for their actions.

In a video uploaded to social media by Just Stop Oil, eco activist Carmen Lean said: ‘In what is it okay to be buying and selling luxury cars when people can’t even afford to eat or heat their homes?

‘And when people all over the world are suffering and dying because of the devastating impact of the climate crisis. The government needs to step up.’ 

The Metropolitan Police confirmed two people had been arrested for criminal damage. 

They said: ‘Protestors have sprayed paint at the Ferrari and Bentley garages in Berkeley Square at 08.30hrs. Met offices were rapidly on scene at 08.46hrs, arrested two people for criminal damage. They have been taken into custody at a central London police station.’

Carmen Lean, 28, an architecture student from Glasgow said: ‘We pay exorbitant bills for oil and gas but it’s nothing compared to the price our kids will pay for it.

‘New oil and gas is a death sentence for people all around the world. You can throw us in prison but it won’t stop our outrage at this government throwing millions of people under the bus. We’re not asking for no new oil, we’re demanding it.

‘This government is using the crisis to push through more austerity on one hand and new oil licences on the other.

Woman sprays orange paint on the display glass at luxury car showroom in Berkeley Square, central London

Woman sprays orange paint on the display glass at luxury car showroom in Berkeley Square, central London

A picture shows the extent of orange paint sprayed across luxury car showrooms in Berkeley Square in central London by two Just Stop Oil protesters

A picture shows the extent of orange paint sprayed across luxury car showrooms in Berkeley Square in central London by two Just Stop Oil protesters

The Bugatti showroom was also doused with orange spray paint by two Just Stop Oil protesters Carmen Lean and Emma Brown on Wednesday morning

The Bugatti showroom was also doused with orange spray paint by two Just Stop Oil protesters Carmen Lean and Emma Brown on Wednesday morning

‘Both are death sentences. If this government cared about people, they would be insulating homes, investing in affordable public transport and massively scaling up renewables.’

Emma Brown, 31, from Glasgow said: ‘We have come down from Scotland to demand this toxic government in Westminster do another U-turn.

‘This time on our broken energy system. Get your hands off our North Sea Oil and rapidly upscale the renewable energies that will prevent catastrophic climate breakdown and reduce our bills.

‘This is the immediate action we need to help the cost of living and the climate crisis. Not more oil for billionaires to profit from.’

The Ferrari showroom refused to comment and HR Owen has been contacted.

Also on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme was Rupert Read, a professor of philosophy at the University of East Anglia who helped found Extinction Rebellion.

Mr Read argued that a more moderate approach is now needed when it comes to climate protests. 

He said the first major wave of Extinction Rebellion protests in April 2019 ‘achieved something dramatic and extraordinary, a real increase in climate consciousness’ but that now mass action is needed.

‘What we need is masses of people who are prepared to take action in their own lives, in their communities, where they work, to effect the changes that need to be made,’ he said.

‘What I’d say to people who don’t like Just Stop Oil’s tactic is: ‘Well fine, but don’t waste your energy cursing at them but instead do something that you actually judge to be better, to be more positive, to be more effective.”

Today’s action follows three weeks of continuous civil resistance by supporters of Just Stop Oil during which the police have made 585 arrests.

Since April 1, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested 1,900 times, with seven of their supporters currently serving time behind bars.

Just Stop Oil activist sprays an orange substance over the headquarters of climate-change-sceptic lobby groups on Tuesday

Just Stop Oil activist sprays an orange substance over the headquarters of climate-change-sceptic lobby groups on Tuesday

Activists shouted 'this is a time for action' before they both smear the waxwork with cake on Monday

Activists shouted ‘this is a time for action’ before they both smear the waxwork with cake on Monday

Yesterday, footage emerged of a fanatic dousing the front of 55 Tufton Street in Westminster, home to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and other fossil fuel lobby groups, in the liquid this morning.

The spray paint came as part of a wider protest which saw a total of six protesters block Horseferry Road. Some protesters glued themselves onto the tarmac in the road while others locked themselves together.

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 said the chaos was cleared up by 1.20pm.

Officers arrested one person on suspicion of criminal damage and seven others on suspicion of wilful obstruction of the highway.

The protester who threw the paint, identified by Just Stop Oil as a ‘normal guy from south London’, said he attacked the property in an attempt to fight ‘big oil, famine, pestilence and war’.

On Monday, a group of protesters were arrested for throwing chocolate cake in the face of a waxwork of King Charles III at Madame Tussauds.

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