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‘Utterly contemptible’ Just Stop Oil target ‘Britain’s greenest event’ the Chelsea Flower Show as three arrested
25 May 2023, 10:23 | Updated: 25 May 2023, 10:52
Three people have been arrested after Just Stop Oil activists targeted "Britain's greenest event" the Chelsea Flower Show on Thursday morning, with the group's actions labelled "utterly contemptible".
The Metropolitan Police took to Twitter on Thursday morning to announce the trio had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage in connection with a protest.
In a video released shortly after the incident, the eco-group supporters could be seen throwing orange powder over the RBC Brewin Dolphin Garden, with three activists wearing Just Stop Oil branded t-shirts.
It follows separate protests on Thursday in which 28 people took part in slow marches on Haymarket, Knightsbridge and Regents Street, demanding the UK Government stop issuing new oil and gas licenses.
The three Just Stop Oil supporters could be seen throwing the paint, demanding that the UK government halts all new oil, gas and coal projects.
The incident, which happened at around 9am, saw the women step over the rope barrier and into the garden before throwing the powder across the flowers and hard landscaping.
One protester could be heard saying: "What use is a garden if you can't eat?"
Cries of dismay could be heard from the public, though this later changed to applause and shouts of "well done".
Taking to social media, Conservative Party Chairman Greg Hands wrote: "This is an appalling attack by Just Stop Oil on the Chelsea Flower Show, literally Britain’s greenest event.
"This is utterly contemptible.
"Labour and Starmer have accepted thousands from one of the major Just Stop Oil donors."
🥀 BREAKING: JUST STOP OIL SUPPORTERS THROW PAINT OVER CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW GARDEN.— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) May 25, 2023
🍽️ What good is a garden if you can’t grow food? Millions are starving in the Global South whilst our government ignores the climate crisis, choosing to licence 100 new oil and gas projects. pic.twitter.com/lJfO1ZiOCE
Stephanie Golder, 35, a charity project coordinator from Southend said: “As a passionate gardener and food grower I am petrified of a future without pollinators and therefore without food.
"Today I disrupted the Chelsea Flower Show to ask the visitors, exhibitors and the RHS to pick a side; to stand for good over evil, life over death, right over wrong; to stand with the young and the billions of people in the global south whose lives are being cut short by climate collapse.”
“If you love gardens or growing food, you must join in civil resistance against new oil and gas.”
This is an appalling attack by Just Stop Oil on the Chelsea Flower Show, literally Britain’s greenest event.— Greg Hands (@GregHands) May 25, 2023
This is utterly contemptible.
Labour and Starmer have accepted thousands from one of the major Just Stop Oil donors. https://t.co/CH5AxHaZNN
Commander Karen Findlay tweeted: 'We are aware of an incident at the Chelsea Flower Show whereby Just Stop Oil protestors have criminally damaged show gardens at the #chelseaflowershow2023 @metpoliceuk have quickly made three arrests for criminal damage.'
It follows the arrest of six Just Stop Oil protesters by the Met in Marylebone yesterday, May 25, following further slow walk protests.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show began on Monday and is running until Saturday.