Just Stop Oil Supporters who Disrupted ‘The Last Supper’ Found Guilty.

Five Just Stop Oil supporters have been found guilty in relation to disrupting a major art institution, to demand that the government halt any new fossil fuel projects in the UK, and to call on art institutions to join in peaceful civil resistance against a genocidal government. [1]

Lucy Porter, Tristan Strange, Jessica Agar, Caspar Hughes and Simon Bramwell appeared before District Judge Nelson, at the City of London Magistrates Court. The Just Stop Oil supporters stood accused of using glue to attach themselves to the frame of ‘The Last Supper’ at the Royal Academy in London, on July 5th 2022. They were also accused of using spray paint to write the demand ‘No New Oil’ below the painting. [2]

The Last Supper (c. 1520), attributed to Giampietrino, is a full-scale copy of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous work. Giampietrino is thought to have been a pupil of Leonardo. It depicts the biblical scene when Jesus announces that one of his Twelve Apostles will betray him.

The result comes the day after an Insulate Britain supporter, David Nixon, a 36 year old care-worker from Barnsley, has been sentenced to eight weeks in prison, simply for mentioning fuel poverty and the climate crisis in court.

Speaking during the trial, Simon Bramwell, 50, a gravedigger and bushcraft instructor from Reading, said:

“We are on trial today because the law is not defending the public or the planet.”

“Oil companies are sucking up obscene profit, whilst ordinary people are having to choose between food or fuel.

“Large portions of the media are still trying to cover-up the truth, whilst the judiciary is imprisoning those who speak it.”

“We have no justice whilst the legal system is protecting the real criminals, yet imprisoning peaceful climate defenders, for many months, without trial. It is on the conscience of every UK citizen to resist this.”

Another of those on trial, Jessica Agar, 22, an art student from Hereford said:

“As an art student, I believe to my core in the power of art to change the world.”

“I took this action to highlight the responsibility that cultural institutions have to the public and to demand that they leverage their power to effect social change.”

“The concept of a ‘last supper’ is a reality for millions around the world, as crop failures from climate breakdown force us into widespread famine. This will become a reality for my baby nephew. Why is his life, and the lives of countless others, not given the same value as this painting?”

The Just Stop Oil supporters have all been fined £275 and made to pay an additional £175 in court costs and £36 in compensation, to the total of £486 each.

Since the Just Stop Oil campaign began on April 1st 2022, there have been over 2,000 arrests and 138 people have spent time in prison, many without trial. There are currently nine Just Stop Oil supporters in prison awaiting trial or serving sentences for actions taken with the campaign.

We stand with these nine political prisoners, with the 1,800 victims of our broken criminal justice system imprisoned for over a year without trial and with the 1,700 murdered across the global south, for protecting all our lives. This is the moment for us to come together and resist the destruction of everything we love, something that is being imposed on us by a few, who only seek to enrich themselves.

We’re done with begging. We are going to stop new fossil fuel projects whether those in power agree or not. As citizens, parents and children, we have every right under British law to protect ourselves and those we love. 

We are the last generation who can solve this. Will you step up? Join us and Just Stop Oil. [3][4]


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Notes to Editors

[1] Just Stop Oil is a coalition of groups working together to demand that the government immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK. Just Stop Oil is a member of the A22 Network of civil resistance projects. Climate Emergency Fund is Just Stop Oil’s primary funder for recruitment, training, and capacity building.

[2] Press release from 5th July 2022- https://juststopoil.org/2022/07/05/just-stop-oil-supporters-glue-their-hands-to-the-last-supper-at-the-royal-academy/

[3] Fair Trials reports that the number of people being held in prison without trial in England and Wales is at its highest for over 50 years, with 1,800 people in prison without trial for at least a year.

[4] A recent report from Global Witness says that more than 1,700 people have died while trying to prevent mining, oil drilling or logging on their lands.