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JUST STOP OIL AT THE SNOOKER


A quick one I painted today inspired by yesterday's Just Stop Oil demonstration at the snooker.


Something worth considering for the armchair strategists who disapprove of these tactics: look up the tactics of the Suffragettes. Not just when they chained themselves to railings and jumped in front of a racehorse, I mean all the tactics. Look at how they burned down churches, poured ink into post boxes, fought police in the streets, set fire to moving trains and interfered with rail signals to try and cause crashes, threw an axe at the prime minister. Ask yourself if you would have supported the Suffragettes *at the time*, rather than from the comfort of the present where we can rest assured the campaign was just & effective. I would have even struggled with it, as I have with some climate actions. But on balance, the scale of the injustice at hand requires interventions that disrupt normal life. How can you have a normal society when half the population are denied human rights? How can you have a normal society that runs on fuels that will end organised human life on earth?


Direct actions like this and throwing soup at paintings are the desperate attempts of passengers trying to shake the driver awake as their foot weighs down on the accelerator.


I'm obviously not saying everything has to be about climate all the time, by any means. But the coming catastrophe will affect and maybe destroy every pleasurable or diverting thing we enjoy. So rather than getting mad at the people trying to warn us (and pressure our government to take action that will, in turn, save things like paintings and snooker from destruction) why not thank them, or even better, join them.


Because it's not like environmental campaigners haven't tried non-disruptive tactics, petitions and letter-writing and standing outside buildings with banners. We tried that, and the people who came before us tried that, for decades, and fossil fuel investment only expanded.


But victory for us, and the planet, will take a variety of tactics. And so starting this Friday, 21st -24th April, there'll be a massive multi-day demonstration at Parliament Square bringing together almost every environmental group in the country and beyond.

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