Painting Protest Peril: Just Stop Oil


Erin Holzwarth, Staff Writer

Recently, there’s been a surge of climate change protests that have caught worldwide attention, especially on social media platforms. From throwing cake at the Mona Lisa, to throwing soup at Van Gogh’s sunflower painting, protesters are demanding the public’s attention. Most recently, liquid mashed potatoes were thrown at Monet in a museum in Potsdam. Though the paintings were unharmed due to glass casings, it still caught the internet’s attention.

The group behind the protests, Just Stop Oil, advocate for the halt of mass distribution of oil and for climate change awareness. The group’s protests have been all peaceful, and mostly to do with the disturbance of art.

People have raised concerns about the message behind trying to ‘destroy’ a painter like Van Gogh’s work, since Van Gogh himself was an impoverished mentally ill man, but the true message of the protester’s work is this: “What is more important, Art or Life?”

Just Stop Oil has also thrown mashed potatoes at Monet, and has blocked traffic midday in central London. While the protests have been all peaceful and with a good message of stopping climate change, their methods have been anything but orthodox.

However, there is a certain level of respect to be gained from their method. Many protests throughout history have hypothesized that the only way for change and to be heard is to be violent. Yet, Just Stop Oil has not resorted to physical altercations, and people are paying attention to them. It’s definitely worth discussing and considering their points, even if their methods are unusual.

One thing about Just Stop Oil is that it has been very successful in getting people to talk about their cause and climate change. Thanks to the internet, spreading this message is easier than ever, and Just Stop Oil is demanding an audience.

For more information about Just Stop Oil, click visit