XR and Just Stop Oil millionaire donor: radical tactics are counterproductive for climate cause

24 June 2023, 20:08 | Updated: 24 June 2023, 20:28

A Just Stop Oil protester is dragged away by police officers at Trafalgar Square
A Just Stop Oil protester is dragged away by police officers at Trafalgar Square. Picture: Alamy

By Adam Solomons

A multi-millionaire donor to Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion has said that the eco-activists are "performative" and "not accomplishing anything".

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Californian entrepreneur Trevor Neilson described the protesters' radical methods as "disruption for the sake of disruption".

Mr Neilson told The Times: "The activists are ostracising the exact people that they need to engage. They’re creating an excuse for people to stay on the sidelines.

“It’s just performative. It’s not accomplishing anything.

"I absolutely believe that it has now become counterproductive, and I just feel like that has to be said by somebody that was involved in the beginnings of what it has become.”

Read more: Furious student late for school rips banners away from Just Stop Oil protestors slow-marching through road

Read more: Showstopper! Just Stop Oil halt opera performance by setting off confetti bomb and blowing air horn

Right to left: Neilson is pictured with Richard Branson, Angelina Jolie and the late American diplomat Richard Holbrooke in 2005
Right to left: Neilson is pictured with Richard Branson, Angelina Jolie and the late American diplomat Richard Holbrooke in 2005. Picture: Alamy

Neilson's Climate Emergency Fund has handed Just Stop Oil more than £1 million.

It hands cash to more than 100 green action groups across the world.

Its website boasts logos for Extinction Rebellion, Scientist Rebellion and XR Netherlands as notable grantees.

Notable events disrupted by Just Stop Oil in recent weeks include the Chelsea Flower Show, the World Snooker Championship and the Rugby Premiership Final.

It's been reported that the group will also target Wimbledon, which begins early next month.

Just Stop Oil protesters stage a sit-in on Waterloo Bridge
Just Stop Oil protesters stage a sit-in on Waterloo Bridge. Picture: Alamy

The group was recently buffeted by new police powers to stop slow-walking protests.

The group began its ongoing three months of action in late April, with numerous demonstrations involving ultra-slow movement down roads in order to halt traffic.

Policing such protests has reportedly cost British cops 11,000 shifts, figures published earlier this month revealed.

Schoolboy rips banners away from Just Stop Oil protesters in London

Earlier this month Just Stop Oil protestors halted an opera festival by setting off a confetti bomb and blowing an air horn.

Three protestors disrupted a performance of Dialogues des Carmelites at Glyndebourne, East Sussex.

One hour into the show, the protestors jumped up from their seats, started shouting and let off a confetti bomb.

They also set off an air horn, with the play's actors immediately ushered off the stage.

The protestors were eventually restrained by security and escorted off the premises.

Just Stop Oil supporters slowly cycle on London streets to demand end to fossil fuels

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