Climate change protesters sprayed fake crude oil onto the protective facade around Big Ben this morning.
Two female members of Christian Climate Action – linked to Extinction Rebellion – used modified high pressure fire extinguishers to spray several litres of fake crude oil.
The two activists, Gail Thomas, 50, businesswoman and mother of two children, and Alice Lynch, 34, artist, business owner and mother of two children, arrived on foot looking like tourists.
They produced two large extinguishers, each containing nine litres of fake oil, and it took them approximately 20 seconds to empty them with a jet of about twelve metres allowing the two women to ‘paint the canvas’ of Big Ben’s surrounding wrapper up to a height of over six metres.
Extinction Rebellion said the oil will very quickly wash off with water leaving no trace of any damage.
Other activists unfurled a banner reading “FOSSIL FUELS = DEATH” and a second reading “TIME IS RUNNING OUT: ‘Something will have to change… if the human race is going to survive’ JP Morgan, January 2020” a reference to the recent report from the fossil fuel financier.
Once the fire extinguishers were fully emptied, Gail and Alice placed them on the ground to wait for the police.
As soon as they arrived, the women told them that the action was a peaceful protest using a safe, nontoxic liquid and handed them a recipe sheet detailing the ingredients for the fake oil.
The action was live streamed to the Extinction Rebellion Facebook page and can be watched here.
Gail Thomas commented: “These are desperate times and we plead with government and corporations to cease fossil fuel extraction immediately.
“Unlike real oil, the black substance used in this art installation is plant based and harmless to this building, people and planet.
“It’s beyond shocking that over a month ago, JP Morgan – a major industrial financier acknowledged that the human race is heading for extinction, and yet, no change has ensued, it’s just business as usual and it has to stop.”
Alice Lynch added: “Our house is on fire, it’s time to Act Now to put the fire out. The repurposed fire extinguishers are beautifully symbolic when you think about it.
“This is a Climate and Ecological Emergency and enough is enough. People are already suffering and I don’t want my children to suffer as well.
“We don’t want to be here doing this but feel that we have no choice. I hope that our artful approach draws attention to the urgency of the situation.”
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