DAN WOOTTON: Eco-terrorist criminals are threatening Brits' lives

DAN WOOTTON: No matter how middle-class and privileged the champagne socialists of Just Stop Oil might appear, they are eco-terrorist criminals who are threatening the lives of ordinary Brits and must be locked up

How much longer are we as a country going to accept this sort of lawlessness inflicted upon our lives?

Is it going to take serious injuries or deaths before the weak authorities and woke justice system finally stop the scourge that is Just Stop Oil and their ilk?

At the weekend, they put countless lives at risks – least of all their own – by storming onto the Formula 1 track at Silverstone.

Six eco crazies have now been charged after invading Wellington Straight – the fastest point of the track ­– before sitting down during the opening lap.

It’s only a suspension of racing after a horror crash by Alfa Romeo driver Zhou Guanyu that saw them avoid being ‘sliced into 100 pieces’, with fans, marshals and drivers ‘wholly at risk of injury and death’, according to Sky’s F1 commentator Martin Brundle.

But Just Stop Oil’s campaign of carnage has continued by damaging nationally important artworks.

‘But Just Stop Oil’s campaign of carnage has continued by damaging nationally important artworks’

This morning, activists superglued their hands to the base of an early 16th century copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper attributed to Giampietrino at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Yesterday, they glued themselves to Constable’s Hay Wain as hapless security guards looked on, risking damage to the famous masterpiece.

It follows a months-long campaign of action, including blockading oil supplies and destroying petrol stations, which has cost the cash-strapped police millions and stopped them solving murders and other violent crimes.

Now I am absolutely a proponent of the right to protest – you’ve seen that throughout the Covid era when I’ve proudly stood up for peaceful anti-lockdown and vaccine mandate marches that were stamped out by cops.

That’s why I’m convinced that if another highly organised group was inflicting such militant chaos on behalf of a political cause other than extreme climate zealotry they would, quite rightly, be stopped, locked up and then monitored. Because, let me be very clear, no matter how middle class and privileged these champagne socialists appear, and no matter how noble they think their cause may be, the Just Stop Oil morons are eco-terrorists.

Protesters from Just Stop Oil climate protest group glue their hands to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s, The Last Supper inside the Royal Academy, London

Just look at the definition of the 2000 Terrorism Act that states: ‘Terrorism means the use or threat of action where… the use or threat is designed to influence the government… and… the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political… or ideological cause.’

The Act continues: ‘Action falls within this subsection if it… involves serious damage to property… endangers a person’s life… creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.’

Surely the actions taken by Just Stop Oil ­– and their pals at Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain – meets that definition.

They want to subvert democratic means by using dangerous methods that damage property and put the safety of innocent Brits at risk in order to advance an extreme political outcome.

But much of the media seems to give these common criminals a pass.

Sly News (sic) often describes them as activists rather than common criminals.

The BBC’s leftie favourite Gary Lineker even backed their campaign after the F1 stunt that could have gone catastrophically wrong and caused a mass loss of life, writing, with no comeback from his bosses (as usual): ‘Way more risk of death with climate change to everyone than there is attempting to delay a motor race.’

Protestors are removed after running onto the track on the opening lap of the F1 British Grand Prix,

In stark contrast, Home Secretary Priti Patel has made all the right noises, correctly branding the idiots as ‘fanatical, and frankly dangerous’.

But tough words are no longer enough, especially when the extremists know they can get away with their criminal activity.

Take John Lennon lookalike and Just Stop Oil ringleader Louis McKechnie who has already been arrested 20 times, but his most recent punishment was a measly £150 fine for wilfully obstructing a highway in central London.

They are laughing at you, Priti!

I guess it’s no surprise they’re cockily continuing their rampage when a judge in April said he was ‘inspired’ by Insulate Britain protests, when he fined 12 of them over shutting down the M25 by gluing themselves to the motorway and a police car, while sparing them a jail term.

But district judge Stephen Leake unfathomably told the criminals during sentencing: ‘They have inspired me and personally I intend to do what I can to reduce my own impact on the planet, so to that extent your voices are certainly heard. I have heard your voices.’

If we just shrug off this wanton criminal behaviour, the UK risks becoming like parts of the US where it’s become a depressingly common sight for entire city centres to be boarded up thanks to the threat of hard-left ‘protests’ ignored by the authorities.

I say all of this as a long-term environmentalist who believes the UK is already ahead of most of the world in action to prevent further man-made climate change.

After all, we’re leading the G20 in reducing carbon emissions on a speedy path to Net Zero that is going to put serious financial pressure on individuals.

However, I am convinced progress must be gradual, measured and weighed up against the economic cost.

Unlike Just Stop Oil which is demanding the government commit to halt new oil and gas licenses in the UK, a delusional prospect that would damn us to economic catastrophe in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.

In a western democracy there are a multitude of avenues available to folk like me to express our displeasure at government environmental policy that certainly does not involve risking lives, desecrating precious artwork, smashing up petrol stations and banks, shutting down oil refineries, interrupting football games, or blocking roads.

A civil society must eschew violence and criminal destruction in all forms.

Just Stop Oil is a malevolent force doing far more harm than good to the climate change cause they claim to represent.

The haters and wreckers should be locked up because they have become a terrorist-like organisation founded on extremism.

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