Yesterday’s Just Stop Oil protest at the World Snooker Championships was justified because it grabbed the headlines at a time when the devastation caused by climate change remains under-reported.
Play was stopped at the tournament in Sheffield yesterday after a protester climbed onto a table during a match and covered it in orange powder.
Another protester was prevented from gluing herself to another table at the same time.
A man and a woman were later arrested by South Yorkshire Police.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning Just Stop Oil spokesperson Oliver Clegg explained why the snooker championship was targeted.
“The BBC has given 150 hours and forty minutes over to coverage to just this one World Snooker Championship and yet an hour-long David Attenborough documentary with mild criticism about the state of nature in the UK was considered too wild to broadcast,” he said.
“People need to be hearing that we are in a climate crisis.”
He said Just Stop Oil is working to highlight the fact that the British Government continues to licence new fossil fuel projects – despite the fact that agencies like the International Energy Agency (IEA), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the UN have been warning that that there can be no new investment in fossil fuel projects for several years.
Asked whether the method of protest risked alienating the public, Mr Clegg said: “Well, it's got me on your show.”
“It’s got headlines across lots of newspapers and the unfortunate reality is that even when we have air pollution caused by fossil fuels killing more people than obesity - killing more people than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined - that doesn’t get the headlines.
“I mean, where are the headlines? Being in a climate crisis is not just a buzzword.
“It is tragic that this isn’t in the headlines already – when we have devastating and deadly drought happening right now with this heatwave in India and heatwave in China.
“That’s not getting on the news but this is.”
Mr Clegg said the group would “quite possibly” target more sports events in the coming weeks – and confirmed that protesters would be blocking roads in London from April 24th.
He said details of future campaigns can be found at JustStopOil.org.