December 3, 2023
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By Tim Dodd

Just Stop Oil, a climate campaigner in England, has sprayed orange paint on universities throughout England.

On Thursday, protests at Leeds, Manchester, and Cambridge universities were reported.

Just Stop Oil says the protests were “against plans by the UK Government to licence new oil and natural gas projects”.

This follows the protests in Bristol, Exeter, Oxford, Falmouth, Sussex and Birmingham on Wednesday.

The UK regulators gave the green light to the Rosebank Oil Field, which is estimated to hold up to 300,000,000 barrels of crude oil.

Sam Holland, a recent Leeds graduate, was featured in a clip posted by the activist group on X (formerly Twitter) of the Great Hall at the University of Leeds being “redecorated” orange.

On the video it appears that Mr Holland is spraying paint orange on the building while shouting “the university’s graduate scheme has been complicit in genocide”. The police then drag him away.

The police said that they were at the campus around 12:40 BST, and arrested a man aged 21 on suspicion of criminal damages.

The University of Leeds spokeswoman said that while she “supports the right of legal protest”, the demonstrators were “extremely disappointed”.

They said: “We have a PS174m climate plan that includes our goal of reaching net zero emissions in 2030.

We avoid firms that have a material interest in some sectors. This includes thermal coal mining, extraction of fossil energy from tar-sands and oil, gas and refinery extraction and production.

Just Stop Oil reported on X, that at Cambridge University protester Chiara Sargenti “painted the neogothic King’s College in orange” using a fire extinguisher.

The activist was confronted by members of the public in front of King Henry VI’s 1441 founded college.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary reported that officers responded to a call at 12:15 BST, on the 12th October regarding reports of criminal damages in King’s Parade. A 24-year-old man was then arrested.

King’s College spokesperson said that the college was concerned with climate change, and respected the rights to non-violent speech and protest. However, the college did not support criminal damage.

The Allen Gilbert Building, located at the University of Manchester in Manchester, was also attacked on Thursday morning.

According to the university, campus police and security attended. Since then, cleaning staff has removed all paint.

They said: “While we accept the right of peaceful protest within the legal framework, we do not tolerate vandalism or disruptions that affect staff, students, and visitors.”

A man in Exeter was arrested after using buckets and sprayers to paint The Forum’s glass fa├žade on campus.

The university stated that it respects “the right of protest as long as it’s done safely, with respect and in accordance with the law”.

Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed that a suspect had been detained on suspicion of criminal damages.

Just Stop Oil reported that on Wednesday, philosophy student Harrison painted over the University of Birmingham’s library while calling for university leadership to join students in “civil resistance”.

West Midlands Police reported that a man aged 20 was arrested for criminal damage.

Falmouth University reported that a building had been painted orange after “a few individuals” who committed criminal damage escalated a peaceful demonstration.

The police were dispatched to Penryn’s campus at 12 noon, following a report of an anti-oil protest.

Just Stop Oil claimed that its Falmouth demonstration was the third day of its “student-led resistance”. The university’s spokesperson confirmed that the police would investigate.

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