Just Stop Oil protesters disrupt play at Wimbledon

Just Stop Oil protesters disrupt play at Wimbledon

Wimbledon became the latest major sporting event targeted by protesters after two people wearing Just Stop Oil T-shirts ran on to Court 18 on the third day of the Championships.

The first-round match between Sho Shimabukuro and Grigor Dimitrov was suspended after two protesters got onto the grass court and threw orange confetti glitter on to the surface.

“Just Stop Oil supporters have disrupted the Wimbledon Tennis Championships,” a statement from the climate activists read.

Just Stop Oil protesters are escorted away by Police
Just Stop Oil protesters are escorted away by Police (Andy Sims/PA)

“At around 14:10 two Just Stop Oil supporters ran on to Court 18, disrupting the match between Sho Shimabukuro and Grigor Dimitrov.

“The supporters threw environmentally-friendly orange confetti glitter and jigsaw pieces on to the courts, before being removed. Play was briefly delayed whilst marshals picked up the pieces.”

Deborah Wilde, 68, a retired teacher from London, who was one of the protesters who ran on the court, 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 at Wimbledon was Simon Milner-Edwards, 66, a retired musician, from Manchester.

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

A statement from Wimbledon read: “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.”