Just Stop Oil protesters invade West End performance of Les Misérables
Just Stop Oil protesters stole the spotlight during Wednesday night’s (4 October) production of Les Misérables on London’s West End.
The environmental activist group has a history of causing scenes to send a message to the British government and demand that they commit to ending new fossil fuel licensing and production.
In their latest headline-worthy protest, Just Stop Oil members climbed on stage during the song “One Day More”, in which an actor famously waves a large red flag, signaling the beginning of the student uprising.
Video footage from tonight’s performance sees the Les Misérables actors attempt to continue their performance as protesters wave their orange Just Stop Oil flags on either side of the stage.
Within a few seconds, the Les Misérables cast halted their performance and stepped back as the safety curtain came down and the production crew cleared the area.
As members of the crowd boo and jeer at the Just Stop Oil protesters, one member of the group addresses them from the stage.
The Sondheim Theatre was promptly evacuated as protesters locked themselves to the set.
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A statement from Metropolitan Police reads: “At approximately 21:00hrs on Wednesday 4 October police were called to reports of a small number of protesters at a theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue.
“Officers are on scene and dealing.”
“The show starts with Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving child,” said Just Stop Oil member Hannah Taylor.
“How long before we are all forced to steal loaves of bread? How long before there are riots on the streets?
“The show cannot go on. We are facing catastrophe. New oil and gas means crop failure, starvation, and death.
“It is an act of war on the global south and an utter betrayal of young people.”
In a video later posted to the Just Stop Oil social media page, 18-year-old protester Noah, who wore a t-shirt reading “the show can’t go on” said: “My whole life has been overshadowed by the knowledge that, unless we do something about the climate crisis that unless we do something about the climate crisis, it will destroy absolutely everything and yet we continue to do nothing.”
He continued: “I love theatre. I’ve done theatre for years. The last thing I want to do is disrupt this.
“But this is what I have to do to protect it. Because if these oil licenses go ahead, we cannot have any theatre. We cannot have any sports, we cannot have anything. So I am not willing to sit back and watch as they destroy everything.”
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