Just Stop Oil opinion: BBC Proms protest shocked nobody and is preferable to climate catastrophe
Just Stop Oil shocked no-one by protesting at the first night of the Proms on Friday evening
and live on Freeview channel 276
The first night of the Proms is far from the first event held sacred by the British middle class that Just Stop Oil has hijacked to promote their well-founded belief that the UK’s (and the world’s) continued reliance on oil and gas will exacerbate a deadly climate catastrophe.
Some critics don’t seem able to see the wood for the trees though as they bemoan the non-violent group’s constant attempts to interrupt their leisure activities.
If Just Stop Oil are not disrupting play at the snooker world championship, invading the pitch at the Ashes, or throwing orange jigsaw pieces and confetti onto the grass at Wimbledon, then they’re stealing the limelight on popular BBC entertainment programmes.
This latest protest - and likely not the last - saw two Just Stop Oil protesters mount the stage at the first night of the Proms where they unfurled a banner before being quickly pulled away by security to sounds of booing from the audience.
It’s possible that they’re not as keen on doing the same at football matches because the protesters know that they would face a very different crowd there, and may well suffer more than boos and jeers.
Either way, I’m sure it’s satisfying for some at home to watch as men and women dressed to the nines to watch a tennis match or an orchestral performance suffer the most minor of inconveniences as their fun is postponed for a few minutes.
Yes, their slow marches along busy roads can be quite annoying and, in some cases, very damaging if they impede emergency vehicles or prevent those in need getting from A to B.
But if we compare the actions of Just Stop Oil to those employed by now-revered protest groups of years gone by, they seem rather tame.
The Suffragettes, now upheld as a group of brave heroines fighting for the fundamental rights of women across the country (which indeed they were), resorted to terrorism in the form of a bombing campaign that killed five and injured dozens.
Across the Atlantic, the Civil Rights Movement used similar civil disobedience methods as are employed by Just Stop Oil today in their fight for black equality, but on a far greater scale.
And when you stop to think about the cause that Just Stop Oil is fighting for - averting or at least lessening the impact of a looming climate disaster by pressuring the government to end all new fossil fuel licensing and production.
It is perhaps an idealist and tunnel-visioned aim - if Britain does stop producing its own oil and gas it is likely to import it from overseas, at least until its green infrastructure is up to snuff.
Yet many across the country look at the state of the world today and feel frustration at the apparent immobility of the political class. Just Stop Oil have seen that immobility and, tired of it, opted to move themselves in the hopes of dragging the politicians along with them.