Eco-protester out on bail after throwing soup at Van Gogh painting 'helped fellow activists block the M25'

11 November 2022, 09:22 | Updated: 11 November 2022, 09:29

Phoebe Plummer took part in the M25 protests
Phoebe Plummer took part in the M25 protests. Picture: Just Stop Oil

By Kit Heren

A woman who was arrested for throwing soup at a Van Gogh painting to protest oil use blocked the M25 while out on bail for the first vandalism offence.

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Phoebe Plummer worked alongside fellow Just Stop Oil protesters on the M25 this week to cause misery for motorists, in scenes that even led to a police officer being hurt, the Sun reported.

Ms Plummer first came to national attention after hurling soup over Vincent Van Gogh's £76 million 'Sunflowers' painting in the National Gallery on October 14.

Just Stop Oil protestors
Just Stop Oil protestors. Picture: Twitter

She and her fellow protester were arrested and released on bail.

Ms Plummer said: “I understand people must be frustrated with us, and rightly so, but we have to disrupt daily life because we are hurtling towards climate catastrophe.”

It comes as Just Stop Oil paused their disruptive M25 protests and urged the government to "honour all those who served and loved their country" on Remembrance Day by halting new oil and gas licences.

Protesters blocked the M25 this week
Protesters blocked the M25 this week. Picture: Getty

In a statement, the group said they were halting their campaign to "give those in government who are in touch with reality to consider their responsibilities to the country".

"From today, Just Stop Oil will halt its campaign of civil resistance on the M25. We are giving time to those in Government who are in touch with reality to consider their responsibilities to this country at this time," read the statement.

"We ask that the Prime Minister consider his statement at COP27, where he spoke of the catastrophic threat posed by the ravages of global heating, the 33 million people displaced by floods in Pakistan, and the moral and economic imperative to honour our pledges."You don't get to recycle words and promises — you owe it to the British people to act.

Just Stop Oil spokesperson gets challenged

Read more: Just Stop Oil cause more chaos as they climb M25 gantries for fourth time on Tube strike day

Watch: 'We'll win in the end': Eco activist likens road protests to Suffragettes as he defends blocking M25

"Today is Remembrance Day, we call on you to honour all those who served and loved their country."Take the necessary first step to ensure a liveable future and halt new oil and gas.

"The UK Government’s failure to do so is a criminal dereliction of its fundamental duty — to protect and safeguard the lives of its citizens, and is an act of utter betrayal of billions of people living in the Global South. It is murder, plain and simple.

"The supporters of Just Stop Oil are now the people upholding law and order and protecting civil society. Under British law, people in this country have a right to cause disruption to prevent greater harm — we will not stand by."

Caller claims 'there's something sinister' about the way Just Stop Oil is protesting

Just Stop Oil have caused four days of chaos on the M25. Activists from the group scaled overhead gantries, shutting large swathes of the motorway and causing hours-long queues.

One man missed his father's funeral because of the delays, and countless others have reported missing work or university as a result.

Read more: Suella Braverman demands crackdown on eco 'extremists' who are getting 'out of control'

Read more: 'You'll hate me' teary activist tells motorists as eco zealots grind M25 to a halt

On Wednesday two lorries and a police motorbike were involved in a collision as a roadblock was set up to deal with the protests, injuring a police officer.

Just Stop Oil admitted the incident was "awful".

Louise from Just Stop Oil
A protester from Just Stop Oil on the M25. Picture: Just Stop Oil

he policing has been under fire during the four days of action. Forces in Kent, Hertfordshire, Surrey, London and Essex have been criticised for not acting fast enough to remove protesters.

And Herts Police has fallen under heavy criticism for the arrest of LBC reporter Charlotte Lynch as she covered a demonstration on Tuesday.

She was searched and held in a cell for five hours, despite the fact she had her formal press identification with her.

Read more: 'Arrested for doing my job': LBC's Charlotte Lynch tells of being held in a cell while covering M25 protest

Read more: Police boss says sorry for arresting LBC reporter but tries to blame media for covering M25 protests

On Thursday, Herts PCC David Lloyd apologised, saying it "doesn't seem the right decision was made".

However he hit out at press coverage of the protests, blaming the media for giving the group the "oxygen of publicity"."Your editorial policy needs to reflect whether or not we want to be part of the problem which is how Just Stop Oil are managing to get their message out there so very successfully,” he said.

But Nick challenged him, saying every editor must be on the wrong page because it is not just LBC covering the protests – and that if a group closes sections of an important motorway, "that’s what we in the business call news".