Close sidebar

Arrests made after two Just Stop Oil protesters disrupt play at Wimbledon

Two protesters have been arrested after disrupting Wimbledon by throwing orange-coloured confetti and jigsaw pieces on Court 18.

Tournament organisers announced on Twitter the pair were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage after running on to the court during a match between Grigor Dimitrov and Sho Shimabukuro.

The Metropolitan Police said on Twitter that a man and a woman were in custody after the incident.

Just Stop Oil protesters are detained by police
Just Stop Oil protesters are detained by police (Jonathan Veal/PA)

Just Stop Oil has named the activists as Deborah Wilde and Simon Milner-Edwards.

Wimbledon tweeted: “Following an incident on Court 18, two individuals have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage and these individuals have now been removed from the Grounds.

“Play on the court was temporarily paused and, following a suspension in play due to a rain delay, play is about to resume.”

The crowd jeered them before they were escorted away by security guards and police.

Grounds staff came on to pick the confetti and jigsaw pieces up while one member used a leafblower shortly before the rain started.

The protest happened as Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer held talks with police and sports chiefs to discuss how to prevent Just Stop Oil activists targeting flagship events.

The second Ashes Test at Lord’s, the Gallagher Premiership rugby final at Twickenham and the World Snooker Championship have all been affected in recent months.

In a statement, Just Stop Oil said “we can’t leave it to the next generation to pick up the pieces”.

Ground staff clear orange confetti from Court 18
Ground staff clear orange confetti from Court 18 (Andy Sims/PA)

Deborah Wilde, 68, a retired teacher from London, ran on the court shortly after 2.10pm.

She said: “I’m just an ordinary grandmother in resistance to this Government’s policy of serving us new oil and gas licences. In normal circumstances this sort of disruption would be entirely unacceptable, but these aren’t normal circumstances.

“We’ve just had the hottest June on record, breaking the previous record by nearly a whole degree! We don’t need Hawk-eye to see that our Government issuing over 100 new fossil fuel licences is a very bad line-call.

“Forget strawberries and cream, scientists are warning of impending food shortages, mass displacement and war.

“We are facing new pandemics, economic inflation and increasingly authoritarian governments who will attempt to crush civil unrest.

“This is a crisis and it needs a crisis response. I want a safe future, not just for my grandchildren but for all children around the world and the generations to come.”

The other Just Stop Oil protester who invaded Court 18 was Simon Milner-Edwards, 66, a retired musician, from Manchester.

He revealed he brought the confetti into the grounds in a jigsaw box, but refused to say which gate he entered through.

Via the JSO statement, he said: “I’m here for my grandchildren and everybody else’s. I’m not prepared to let our politicians wreck everything and leave the next generation to pick up the pieces.

“The last thing I want to do is spoil people’s enjoyment of Wimbledon, but right now, on Centre Court, it’s humanity versus oil and gas – and the umpire is getting every call wrong.

“How long are we going to take this before we see a McEnroe-level meltdown?”

The protest did not disrupt proceedings too much as rain started falling shortly after.

The match resumed 45 minutes later.

This is a cookie notice. You can replace this cookie notice easily using the theme options from within your WordPress control panel. It will only appear once, with acceptance of the form stored locally.