London police arrested two activists from the Just Stop Oil protests after they splattered paint across the front of Ferrari, Bugatti and Bentley car dealerships in the city center.
The two women used fire extinguishers to spray orange paint across the windows of the two Berkeley Square locations in the affluent Mayfair neighborhood of London’s West End at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Protestors also painted the front of a Bugatti dealership, the Independent reported.
One person could be heard in the video of the vandalism saying “What are you doing?” and then “You’re a disgrace!” as the women finish covering the windows. Once finished, the protestors put their paint down and gave a speech bemoaning the purchase of luxury cars while “people can’t even afford to eat or heat their homes.”
The Met Police said they arrested two people for criminal charges, the Mirror reported.
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“Protesters have sprayed paint at the Ferrari and Bentley garages in Berkeley Square at 8:39 a.m.,” a spokesman for the Met Police told reporters. “Met officers were rapidly on scene and at 8:46 a.m. arrested two people for criminal damage. They have been taken into custody to a central London police station.”
A spokesman for the movement said that the protest “follows three weeks of continuous civil resistance by supporters of Just Stop Oil, during which the police have made 585 arrests.”
“Since the campaign began on April 1st, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested 1,900 times, with 7 supporters currently in prison,” the spokesman said. “This is not a one day event, expect us every day and anywhere.”
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“This is an act of resistance against a criminal government and their genocidal death project,” the spokesman continued. “Our supporters will be returning – today, tomorrow and the next day – and the next day after that – and every day until our demand is met: no new oil and gas in the UK.”
One of the protestors, 31-year-old Emma Brown from Scotland, said she took part in the protest to “demand this toxic government in Westminster do another U-turn,” this time “on our broken energy system.”
“Get your hands off our North Sea Oil and rapidly upscale the renewable energies that will prevent catastrophic climate breakdown and reduce our bills,” Brown said. “This is the immediate action we need to help the cost of living and the climate crisis. Not more oil for billionaires to profit from.”
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Scotland serves as a critical hub for oil production in the U.K. due to access to dozens of oil reserves off the coast in the North Sea. The U.K.’s Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) noted that sliding prices and production in oil saw Scotland bring in around £500 million (around $580 million) in 2020, but projections leaped as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Now, OBR reported that Scotland produced revenues of around £3.2 billion in 2021-22, with projections from March 2022 indicating the revenues could rise further to £7.8 billion in 2022-23 – the highest return from the area since 2010-11, according to Economics Observatory.
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The Just Stop Oil protestors have made headlines in recent weeks with a number of performative demonstrations, such as dumping tomato soup on a Vincent van Gogh painting and throwing a cake at a wax statue of King Charles III.