World Snooker Championships disruptors on trial

Two Just Stop Oi supporters, Margaret Reid and Eddie Whittingham, are appearing today before the Sheffield Magistrate’s court. The trial follows their disruption of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre last April. They interrupted the championship to call on the government to stop all new UK fossil fuel projects and to encourage UK sporting institutions to join the fight against the government’s genocidal fossil fuel policies. [1]

Margaret Reid, 53, a former museum professional from Kendal, Cumbria, is charged with attempting to cause criminal damage, whilst Eddie Whittingham, 26, faces a charge of criminal damage. On April 17, 2023, during a first-round match at the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, Eddie climbed onto a snooker table and threw orange powder paint, disrupting the match. Margaret also attempted to carry out the action on another table but was intercepted by referee Olivier Marteel before she could begin. The pair, who earlier entered pleas of not guilty, were granted unconditional bail by District Judge Daniel Curtis in January. [2]

Before the trial, Eddie Whittingham, a former student at Exeter University, and Margaret Reid shared their thoughts. 

Whittingham said:

 “It doesn’t matter what they do to us. They can arrest us, they can stick us in prison. But the world’s leading scientists have just said that we’re almost certainly going over 2.5C of global warming. This is a f**king catastrophe. Get on the streets and join us this summer as we take action at airports.”

Margaret Reid expressed her unwavering resolve, stating:

“I find it really daunting to face up to these massive institutions of power, but I will not be intimidated by whatever the justice system throws at me. Whatever the sentence is does not matter to me. What matters to me is stopping new oil and gas so we can prevent millions of deaths, the collapse of society, and the loss of everything we love.” 

If we don’t stop the exploitation of new fossil fuels, then billions of people will face starvation, disease, and death. Earlier this week, a newspaper article quoted many of the world’s most respected climate scientists who were in utter despair over what more they could possibly do to provoke climate action from governments. I have far less power and influence than those scientists, but I won’t give up.”

In a recent Guardian survey, a staggering 77% of climate scientists confirmed expectations of global temperatures rising by at least 2.5C above pre industrial levels, significantly exceeding the critical 1.5C threshold governments agreed to in 2015. An expert described the future as ‘infuriating, distressing, overwhelming,’ fearing the irreversible impact on global south populations. [3]

Responding to the survey an official spokesperson for António Guterres, the UN secretary general said, “The battle to keep 1.5C alive will be won or lost in the 2020s – under the watch of political and industry leaders today. They need to realise we are on the verge of the abyss. The science is clear and so are the world’s scientists: the stakes for all humanity could not be higher.” [4]

This week alone catastrophic floods in Brazil have displaced over 150,000 people, led to numerous deaths, and left many others missing. Until leaders act to protect us, Just Stop Oil supporters will continue to take the proportional action necessary to generate political pressure. This summer airports will be declared sites of civil resistance. Sign up to take action at [5]


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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.

Just Stop Oil ‘Blue Lights’ policy: our policy is, and has always been, to move out of the way for emergency vehicles with siren sounding and ‘blue lights’ on.


“New oil and gas will snooker us!” : Just Stop Oil supporters disrupt the World Snooker Championship