'Anti-oil' activists deface Van Gogh masterpiece

Phoebe Plummer, left, and Ann Holland threw two cans of tomato soup on Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" at London's National Gallery of Art on Oct. 14, 2022 in a protest organized by the climate activist group Just the Oil (Just Stop Oil photo)
Phoebe Plummer, left, and Ann Holland threw two cans of tomato soup on Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” at London’s National Gallery of Art on Oct. 14, 2022 in a protest organized by the climate activist group Just the Oil (Just Stop Oil photo)

Two “anti-oil” protesters – one adorned with pink hair dye that typically is made of petroleum – threw tomato soup on Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in London’s National Gallery on Friday.

The pink-haired climate activist, 21-year-old Phoebe Plummer, yelled: “What is worth more, art or life? Is it worth more than food? Worth more than justice? Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting, or the protection of our planet and people?”

Ironically, Plummer went on to explain she is concerned at the moment that “fuel has become unaffordable to millions of cold, hungry families,” perhaps unaware of the fact that the acceleration of the transition from oil to “renewable” energy in Western nations, including the United States, has driven up the cost of fuel to heat homes and transport food and other necessities.

A survey found nearly one quarter of adults in Britain said they will not turn on their heat this winter because they can’t afford the surging cost of fuel.

Plummer, before she and her partner, 20-year-old Anna Holland, glued their hands to the gallery wall, declared, “The cost-of-living crisis is part of the cost-of-oil crisis.”

Some would argue there is more truth in that statement than she knows, as illustrated by the fact that Plummer was literally wearing petroleum products from head to toe, including denim trousers held together with petroleum-based fibers. In fact, more than half the fabric produced globally is made of petroleum-based materials.

Meanwhile – contrary to establishment media’s insistence that the debate is over and there is a “consensus” – many prominent scientists contest the claim that mankind is causing catastrophic global warming through the emission of carbon.

Pointing to scientific data, Michael Shellenberger, a lifelong Democrat who ran for the party’s gubernatorial nomination in 2018, recently challenged the claim by establishment news media outlets that hurricanes are becoming more expensive, more frequent and more intense because of climate change.

Shellenburger believes global warming is occurring but argues “it’s not the end of the world.” He points to evidence that journalists know better, charging they are  “deliberately misleading the public about the relationship between climate change and hurricanes.”

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The London Metropolitan police, meanwhile, said in a statement that the two young women were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and aggravated trespass.

“Specialist officers have now un-glued them and they have been taken into custody to a central London police station,” the statement said.

The protest at the gallery is among many public demonstrations in the past two weeks against the British government’s decision to open a new licensing round for North Sea oil and gas exploration amid spiking energy costs. Activists also have also blocked bridges and intersections across London.

Later on Friday, a Just the Oil activist threw paint on the sign outside police headquarters in London.

See video of the protest posted by Damien Gayle, environment correspondent for the London Guardian:

Later Friday, as Gayle reported, Just Stop Oil activist Lora Johnson threw paint on police headquarters in London. There was no report of whether or not the paint was oil-based.

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