Eco mob targets MI5 as fight breaks out when protester tries to coat high-security HQ in orange paint

31 October 2022, 09:31

Just Stop Oil targeted MI5
Just Stop Oil targeted MI5. Picture: Just Stop Oil

By Will Taylor

MI5 has been targeted by eco protesters as they started a new wave of disruption, coating landmarks in central London in orange paint.

The green activists from Just Stop Oil used fire extinguishers to spray the Home Office, which is responsible along with MI5 for Britain’s domestic security, in orange paint.

They also targeted the Bank of England building and News Corp headquarters at London Bridge.

"At 8:30am today, 6 Just Stop Oil supporters sprayed orange paint from fire extinguishers onto the Home Office, the MI5 building, the Bank of England and the headquarters of News Corp at London Bridge," the protesters said.

Footage showed one activist struggling with a man who appears to come out of MI5's headquarters in Westminster, and the two grapple while paint is fired into the man's face.

The man who left MI5 throws an item away as he angrily remonstrates with the protester.

It came after Greta Thunberg defended climate activists who bring traffic to a halt by saying it is "reasonable" to expect them to cause disruption.

The Swede backed Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion in the midst of the former's campaign that has seen them block major routes, cause havoc by scaling the Dartford Crossing and hurling food at paintings.

She said activists are getting desperate and needed to resort to "new methods".

Read more: Just Stop Oil protesters spray Rolex store in Knightsbridge with orange paint after similar acts at luxury car showrooms

The 19-year-old, launching her new book at the South Bank in London on Sunday, said: "There are such a variety of different actions, so I can't really generalise.

"We are right now in a very desperate position, many people are becoming desperate and are trying to find new methods because we have realised that what we have been doing up until now has not done the trick.

"It's only reasonable to expect these kinds of different actions and trying out different methods.

"Upsetting anyone depends on how you define upsetting anyone, harming people is one thing and making people annoyed is a different thing.

"I think if groups in countries like the UK and Sweden get the media attention, I think it is very important to focus on the crisis that is happening."

Eco activists have caused a storm in their prolonged campaign of disruption.

They have proven divisive, with the groups saying their stunts are a result of how drastic the climate crisis is, while others say they are putting people off the green cause.

Most recently, activists threw soup at Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the National Gallery in London.

Earlier, protesters scaled the Queen Elizabeth II crossing at Dartford and halted traffic over the key route for some 36 hours before police managed to get them down.

Traffic was shut off over fears about the safety of the activists, motorists and the police.

Ms Thunberg also took aim at the upcoming Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, branding it a "scam".

Read more: 'Punch me on the nose and I won't listen': Andrew Marr destroys Just Stop Oil protests over painting stunts

She will not be attending – a decision that has, for now, put her in the same camp as the Prime Minister.

Rishi Sunak was criticised after it emerged he would not travel so he could concentrate on domestic issues. He may reportedly U-turn on that amid talk that Boris Johnson will head to Sharm-el-Sheikh for the talks.

Ms Thunberg said: "It's very symbolic that it's being held in a tourist paradise in a country that violates many basic human rights.

"Many world leaders are too busy to go there because they have their own problems.

"With that mindset we're not going to be able to solve many of the problems that we face."