‘Civil disobedience gets results’: Just Stop Oil activist clashes with Ben Kentish

28 May 2023, 12:21

Ben Kentish challenges Just Stop Oil protester

By Alice Bourne

A Just Stop Oil activist, Zoe Cohen, has described their continued civil disobedience as ‘an arms race,’ with the media continually ‘driving’ them to disrupt events.

Following Just Stop Oil protesters stopping play at the Premiership Rugby final at Twickenham, Zoe Cohen told Ben Kentish on LBC: What we can see is that this disruption is not being caused by just stop oil, its being caused by oil companies and their endless lies.”

Ben responded: “No let’s be clear the disruption is being caused by your group.”

To which Zoe said: “The reason for that is because these conversations are not happening and change isn’t happening fast enough.”

Ben pointed out that the changes Zoe wanted to see would be more likely to come about "if we didn’t spend countless hours debating your tactics rather than the significance of the message you are putting forward”.

Zoe responded that it was up to those in the media to "choose to have a different conversation”.

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Ben then said bluntly: “Well use different tactics and we would.

“If you accept that you use these tactics because they get you attention, then you cannot criticise people like me for giving you the attention you want- because that's what your tactics are designed to do.”

But Zoe argued activists like her are “stuck in a loop," saying it's difficult to get their message on the news agenda "unless we do this stuff".

She compared it to an "arms race," saying the media was "actually driving us to do this stuff.

“If you had the conversations that were needed we wouldn’t have to do it.”

Disproving this point, Ben then said: “Front page of the Sunday Times is a story to do with new Oil and Gas licenses- not to do with you.”

A point which Zoe disagreed with: “Civil disobedience gets results".

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