“Just Stop Oil” members committed an act of eco-terrorism in Europe by smashing a priceless painting with a hammer, representing an escalation in the group’s tactics.
The two “protesters” entered the National Gallery in London on Monday and walked up to “The Rokeby Venus,” a mid-17th century painting by Diego Velazquez. They then proceeded to strike the glass protecting the painting until it was shattered in several places. In the aftermath, curators took the piece of art down to examine it for damage.
💥 SUFFRAGETTE PAINTING SMASHED— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) November 6, 2023
💀 Our government have revealed plans for MORE oil licences, knowing it will kill millions. In response, two supporters of Just Stop Oil smashed the Rokeby Venus — slashed by Mary Richardson in 1914.
⏱ Deeds, not words: https://t.co/3tlBID7nKA pic.twitter.com/Hk0el26QIt
According to the National Gallery, police were called the to scene and both assailants were arrested. Of course, that begs the question of why security didn’t intervene. How is this still happening given how many attacks have happened prior to the incident? It seems like Europeans are just content to see their culture completely destroyed through misguided leniency toward those who are openly scoffing at the democratic process.
🦺 Hanan, 22, has just smashed the glass covering the Rokeby Venus, originally slashed by the suffragettes in 1914.— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) November 6, 2023
💬 Before taking action, she said: "Women did not get the vote by voting; it is time for deeds not words. It it is time to Just Stop Oil. As a kid I saw myself…
In other words, they don’t care about the will of the people. These people are tyrants who want to enact their delusional, destructive will on the world, and they will continue to commit worse and worse acts until they get their way. The warning signs are blaring, and governments don’t seem to want to take them seriously.
Do you know what would stop this? Having security on hand ready to tackle anyone who tries to desecrate a piece of art would be a start. Then they should be arrested and thrown in prison for several years. When you enact actual consequences for criminal behavior, people are deterred from committing said criminal behavior.
How do I know that? Because the few times that “Just Stop Oil” protesters have had the book thrown at them, it has resulted in de-escalation. For example, when protesters scaled the Dartford Crossing in the UK, tying up a giant banner, two men were convicted and sent to prison. You haven’t seen that happen again, have you? But when it comes to pouring tomato soup on priceless pieces of art or smashing them with hammers, enforcement appears to be lenient.
It’s time to take the gloves off and stop this before “Just Stop Oil” goes from using hammers to using explosives. Because that’s the progression currently happening.