In March 1914, during a demonstration against the detention of Emmeline Pankhurst, suffragette Mary Richardson vandalized the artwork by brandishing a meat cleaver across it. The painting in question was created by Velazquez in the 1600s.
Just Stop Oil Activists’ Actions
Two Just Stop Oil (JSO) activists were arrested after destroying the glass enclosure of a suffragette-torn mural.
The Metropolitan Police stated that they detained the two individuals on suspicion of criminal damage following the targeting of Diego Velazquez’s The Rokeby Venus at the National Gallery in central London on Monday.
In 1914, suffragette Mary Richardson attacked the picture with a butcher cleaver to protest Emmeline Pankhurst’s incarceration.
According to JSO, Hanan, 22, and Harrison, 20, reportedly used safety hammers to shatter the glass shielding the artwork.
JSO stated, “Politics is failing us. It failed women in 1914 and continues to fail us at present. Gas and oil production will murder millions. If we cherish life, art, and our families more than anything else, we must simply stop using oil.”
Following this, protestors threw soup at Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and adhered themselves to the frames of other artifacts, among other antics.
JSO refutes any intention to target the Cenotaph.
Regarding the Met, they reported arresting approximately one hundred JSO activists who were engaging in a slow march in Whitehall. Demonstrators and an officer reported that the police detained a portion of those near the Cenotaph.
Climate Change Organization’s Campaign
The campaign denied targeting the military memorial, claiming police had moved demonstrators to its base to clear traffic.
A mother of one, while handcuffed at the base of the Cenotaph, remarked, “We were detained on the roadside and subsequently dragged to the pavement before being returned to this location.”
A police officer stated that they moved the protestors “to get them off the road” and “for their own safety.”
However, in social media postings on X, politicians such as the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, Lee Anderson, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the shadow home secretary of the Labour Party, Yvette Cooper, accused the group of targeting the Cenotaph.
After Mr. Khan and Ms. Cooper withdrew the posts, the Metropolitan Police verified no Cenotaph-related arrests.
The climate change organization is currently conducting a four-week campaign of demonstrations, urging the government to halt all new gas and hydrocarbon projects in the United Kingdom. Already, the police have apprehended dozens of demonstrators for actions like slow marches along main thoroughfares.