If the police and courts don't act on eco protests, the public will

MICK HUME: If the police and courts don’t act on eco protests, the public will – and it could get nasty

After Just Stop Oil, it seems we are faced with Just Stop Snooker and Just Stop Horse Racing. What next – Just Stop Sport? Surely it’s time these green neo-puritans came clean and called themselves Just Stop Fun.

What on earth did that eco-zealot imagine he might achieve by jumping on a snooker table at the world championships in Sheffield, and sprinkling the Crucible baize with orange powder?

Nothing, of course. Irritating protests such as these are clearly not part of any genuine political campaign.

No, they are pure performance, staged to demonstrate the player’s ethical superiority. These actors want to be arrested in order to demonstrate their status as virtuous victims. Their day in court is the encore, applauded all too often by a sympathetic judiciary.

And this is the real irritation.

An activist puts up a banner reading “Just Stop Oil” atop an electronic traffic sign along M25 on November 10, 2022 in London, United Kingdom, on 10 November 2022

For the legal system has apparently become a revolving door for green fanatics, who can go from protest to courtroom and back again almost without stopping.

It is little wonder that the eco-activists don’t fear the law. Most judges, lawyers and police are criminally soft on them, acting more like proud parents than disciplinarian authorities. Even if a judge does give them a light rap on the knuckles, it will often be garlanded in praise.

READ MORE: BBC host Chris Packham faces called to be sacked after urging followers to flock to XR demo in London – as Corporation stresses ‘social media guidance remains in place’ for presenters in wake of Gary Lineker row 

In February, one judge was so moved by the ‘deeply emotive’ explanations given by seven Just Stop Oil defendants for their mayhem, he praised their ‘admirable aims’.

The protesters were convicted for trespassing into an Esso fuel terminal in Birmingham last year. They were each given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay varying costs to the CPS, but not before District Judge Graham Wilkinson at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court called them ‘good people with the right motivation’, even if he admitted what they did was ‘wrong’.

Then there are the ‘conscientious objector’ lawyers who betray their profession and its vital ‘cab-rank’ principle by saying they won’t prosecute eco-saints. In March, more than 120 of these pinstriped poseurs signed a letter refusing to prosecute ‘climate protesters exercising their right of peaceful protest’. Never mind that many of these virtue-signalling courtroom bores, such as the fox-clubbing ardent Remainer, Jolyon Maugham, would never be asked to prosecute such cases anyway.

Sanctimonious lawyers such as him now appear to believe that their petty personal prejudices are more important than upholding the law.

How committed are they to their cause, I wonder, when it comes to multiple holidays abroad, a Range Rover on the drive and an Aga in the second kitchen?

Little surprise that the protesters just keep on going. Edred Whittingham, the 25-year-old student who interrupted the snooker with orange powder, had previously been involved in protests at an oil terminal and in an art gallery.

How Whittingham finds time to study philosophy, politics and economics at Exeter University is anybody’s guess.

Members of the police forces remove a protester before the start of the Grand National horse race at Aintree Racecourse Liverpool, England, Saturday, 15 April 2023

Police officers respond to Animal Rising activists attempting to invade the race course during day three of the Randox Grand National at Aintree in Liverpool on Saturday, 15 April 2023

There are other regular performers on the XR theatrical tour. In October last year, the privately educated Phoebe Plummer, 21, was arrested during a protest in which soup was thrown over Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece, Sunflowers, in the National Gallery.

A month later, young Plummer was arrested again when protesters climbed gantries to stop traffic on the M25. On that occasion, she announced, with swivel-eyed conviction: ‘I understand people must be frustrated with us, and rightly so, but we have to disrupt daily life because we are hurtling towards climate catastrophe.’

READ MORE: When WILL someone get a grip on the eco fanatics? MPs call on police and judges to end the wave of chaotic climate protests as rebels wreck snooker and vow 30,000 protesters will descend on London 


Another star turn is Louis McKechnie, 21, jailed last September after running on to the pitch at Everton’s Goodison Park and attaching himself to a goalpost – using a metal zip-tie around his neck – during a match against Newcastle United. A sentence of six weeks in prison didn’t dim his love of chaos for very long, for he was convicted again last month – this time of invading the Silverstone race circuit during last year’s British Grand Prix. Despite his previous, he received only a suspended sentence of 12 months.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police, in particular, have often seemed more concerned about ensuring the protesters feel comfortable than feeling collars and making arrests. Compare their infuriatingly light touch approach to the efforts of Merseyside Police on Saturday.

Animal Rising – yet another branch of largely the same mob – disrupted Britain’s most popular horse race, the Grand National, at Aintree last weekend. But not for long, because they were seen off in short order by the combined efforts of the police and angry punters, and following a sterling undercover investigation by The Mail on Sunday.

Beyond their deluded fan club, the gap between the privileged eco-loons and the working public is becoming ever wider. In January, Extinction Rebellion announced the suspension of its campaign of ‘public disruption’ on motorways because, er, the public clearly did not support its disruption of the highways.

Whittingham soon knew what the Yorkshire crowd thought of him when he defaced the snooker table – though he was lucky not to have been assaulted.

Similarly, the XR activists who clambered atop commuter trains in East London in Stratford, Canning Town and Shadwell in 2019 no doubt felt they had gained the moral as well as the literal high ground.

That was, until fed-up commuters dragged them unceremoniously to the platform.

The eco-zealot threw orange powder paint on the table, interrupting play on Monday evening

I suspect that the longer these protests go on without attracting proper punishment, the more we will see ordinary people stepping in where the police and the courts so often refuse to. It could get nasty.

During his trial for invading the Everton pitch, McKechnie told the court that people such as him had to act to compensate for Britain’s ‘failing democratic processes’. In other words, because the demos – the people – refuse to live or vote in the correct way, the green elite must take matters into their own spotless hands.

But he was wrong. The only ‘failing process’ is a judicial system that continually enables these idiots to run riot – while making the rest of us suffer the consequences.

Source: Read Full Article