Other Group

Just Stop Oil

Website:

juststopoil.org/

Location:

United Kingdom

Type:

Climate Activist Group

Just Stop Oil is a United Kingdom-based climate-change activist group. It caused controversy when members threw tomato soup onto the 1888 masterpiece painting Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh as a protest stunt.

Background

Just Stop Oil refers to itself as a “coalition” of groups that advocate for ending all production of fossil fuels in the United Kingdom. [1] The group claims that it is necessary to “completely” eliminate the use of fossil fuels by 2030. [2]

Activities

In June 2022, activists with Just Stop Oil glued themselves to My Heart’s in the Highlands by Horatio McCulloch at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland. [3] Following their example, activists with Italian activist group Ultima Generazione glued themselves to Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera, while activists affiliated with Extinction Rebellion glued themselves to a Picasso painting in Melbourne, Australia. [4] [5]

In October 2022, climate activist group Just Stop Oil created controversy when some of its members threw tomato soup onto the 1888 masterpiece painting Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh held at the National Gallery in London to raise awareness about climate change. After throwing the soup, the two perpetrators of the stunt glued their hands to the wall below the painting with one asking the room, “What is more—art or life? […] Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting, or the protection of our planet and people?” The painting was protected by a glass case, so it was not itself damaged, but there was some “minor damage to the frame” according to the National Gallery. [6]

Aileen Getty weighed in on the stunt in an op-ed for the Guardian, confirming that Climate Emergency Fund provided the activist group with funding and declaring that she was “proud of the bigger conversation they started.” [7]

In October 2022, Just Stop Oil activists recreated the album cover of The Beatles’ Abbey Road in London, gluing their hands together and holding demonstration signs before eventually being arrested and carried away by the police. [8]

Funding

Just Stop Oil is funded by Climate Emergency Fund. [9] On its website, Just Stop Oil recommends interested Americans give tax-deductible donations through Climate Emergency Fund. [10]

Aileen Getty is the founding donor of Climate Emergency Fund and sits on its board. She is an heiress to the Getty family fortune established by oil magnate J. Paul Getty, who created the J. Paul Getty Trust before he passed away. [11] Aileen has her own foundation, the Aileen Getty Foundation, which gives grants to LGBT-interest and environmentalist groups. [12]

References

  1. “FAQs.” Just Stop Oil. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://juststopoil.org/faqs/. ^
  2. “Campaign Background.” Just Stop Oil. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://juststopoil.org/background/. ^
  3. Harris, Gareth. “Activists glue themselves to painting in Glasgow museum to protest art world’s fossil fuel use.” The Art Newspaper, June 30, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2022/06/30/environmental-activists-glue-themselves-to-a-painting-in-glasgow-museum-in-protest-against-art-world-complicity-in-fossil-fuel-industry. ^
  4. Gayle, Damien. “Climate activists in Italy glue themselves to Botticelli painting.” The Guardian, July 22, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/22/climate-activists-in-italy-glue-themselves-to-botticelli-painting. ^
  5. Stambaugh, Alex; Watson, Angus. “Extinction Rebellion activists glue themselves to Picasso painting.” CNN, October 9, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.cnn.com/style/article/picasso-extinction-rebellion-intl/index.html. ^
  6. [1] Feldman, Ella. “Climate Activists Throw Soup on Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ to Protest Fossil Fuels.” Smithsonian Magazine, October 17, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/climate-activists-throw-soup-on-vincent-van-goghs-sunflowers-to-protest-fossil-fuels-180980958/#:~:text=SMART%20NEWS-,Climate%20Activists%20Throw%20Soup%20on%20Vincent%20van,Sunflowers’%20to%20Protest%20Fossil%20Fuels&text=On%20Friday%2C%20in%20room%2043,Gogh’s%20famous%20painting%20Sunflowers ^
  7. Getty, Aileen. “I fund climate activism – and I applaud the Van Gogh protest.” The Guardian, October 22, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/oct/22/just-stop-oil-van-gogh-national-gallery-aileen-getty. ^
  8. [1]“Arrests as Just Stop Oil protesters block traffic at famous Abbey Road crossing.” SkyNews, October 23, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://news.sky.com/story/arrests-as-just-stop-oil-protesters-block-traffic-at-famous-abbey-road-crossing-12728330. ^
  9. Getty, Aileen. “I fund climate activism – and I applaud the Van Gogh protest.” The Guardian, October 22, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/oct/22/just-stop-oil-van-gogh-national-gallery-aileen-getty. ^
  10. “Donate.” Just Stop Oil. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://juststopoil.org/donate/. ^
  11. [1] Angeleti, Gabriella. “Getty oil fortune heiress helped fund climate activists who have targeted artworks and museums.” The Art Newspaper, October 21, 2022. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2022/10/21/getty-oil-heiress-funds-climate-crisis-activism-just-stop-oil. ^
  12. [1] “Aileen Getty.” Climate Emergency Fund. Accessed October 24, 2022. https://www.climateemergencyfund.org/aileen-getty. ^
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