US nonprofit funding law-breaking UK eco activists raises concerns

The Los Angeles-based Climate Emergency Fund can fund Just Stop Oil’s actions, which often lead to arrests, without exposing US donors to British democratic accountability.

Just Stop Oil is just one of many organizations supporting the climate change agenda that have resorted to extreme methods to get their point across.

Just Stop Oil, the group that threw soup on a Van Gogh painting, describes itself as a “movement” and apparently doesn’t have a registered charity or company.

But despite acknowledging the willful, law-breaking strategy of landing registered businesses and charities in legal hot water, they received funding from the Climate Emergency Fund, a U.S.-based nonprofit. is receiving

The funding of law-breaking climate change protests in the UK by US-based nonprofits “causes serious problems under US tax law,” experts say. I’m here.

Epoch Times photo
Just Stop Oil protesters spray paint a sign outside New Scotland Yard in London, 14 October 2022. (Stefan Rousseau/PA Media)

Beyond fundraising

US Attorney Matthew D. Hardin serves on the Board of Energy Policy Advocates, a non-profit organization that seeks to bring transparency to the realm of US energy and environmental policy.

“Compared to the US, the UK seems to allow charities to engage in more political activity,” Hardin told the Epoch Times in an email.

“But just because charities can more openly support political causes aligned with their mission, it is not enough to engage in illegal or criminal acts, such as the now widespread and seemingly organized campaign of vandalism of cultural property. It doesn’t give you permission to do so,” he said. .

“Simply put, there is a difference between political activism and politically motivated crime. It seems unlikely that it will end in the destruction of

Hardin said, “Wealthy US donors, beyond funding philanthropic activities, including costly litigation campaigns (at the taxpayer’s expense!), are now engaged in criminal activities and destruction of cultural property in Europe. I think it’s fair to ask if they’re even funding .

“U.S. tax law takes a rather bleak view of tax-deductible funds of U.S. citizens being used to fund political activity abroad. Even setting aside the implications, it poses serious problems under U.S. tax law,” he added.

illegal act

Just Stop Oil says it gets most of its funding from the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF) “for recruitment, training, capacity building and education.” in October, The Guardian reported Just Stop Oil is the fund’s largest beneficiary, receiving $1.1 million.

The group is protesting the government’s giving companies new oil contracts, behind a wave of illegal actions such as blocking access to petrol stations and some of Britain’s busiest motorways. is. High Court Injunctionmore.

In November, researchers at the conservative think tank Policy Exchange said: Examined Just Stop Oil found that its members had to sign contracts promising to break the law.

In its now-deleted form, activists were asked to sign a document that read: Only dramatic life events, such as losing someone close to me or becoming ill, prevent me from participating in this activity.

The form also indicated a commitment to actions that would result in “at least” one person’s arrest.

Activists have sprayed paint on numerous buildings, and in October, Just Stop Oil activists attacked Van Gogh’s recognizable painting of a sunflower vase and tomato soup cans. I threw a and stuck it to the frame.

“Which is more valuable, art or life?” said one of the activists, Phoebe Plummer.

On Tuesday, two activists filed criminal damages at a London art gallery for damaging the frame of another Vincent van Gogh painting, The Peach Tree in Bloom, by gluing it together. was convicted of a crime.

In September, five Just Stop Oil activists admitted to violating an injunction by blocking access to the country’s largest oil terminal. handed down a suspended sentence.

In November, nine people were jailed for violating the ban. block roads with heavy traffic Such as the M25, one of the busiest highways in the country.

its supporters thousands of arrests and according to itself numbersat least 30 people have been imprisoned or remanded.

Epoch Times photo
A Just Stop Oil protester was arrested after blocking a road at the intersection of Cannon Street and Queen Victoria Street in London on 27 October 2022. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

“Destructive Protest”

The Climate Emergency Fund is partly funded by US billionaire Eileen Getty, whose grandfather was oil tycoon J. Paul Getty. Getty co-founded the group with wealthy donors, including renewable fuels businessman Trevor Neilson and Rory Kennedy, daughter of Senators Robert Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy.

The Los Angeles-based Climate Emergency Fund claims to “only provide funding.” legitimate activity, and we are guided by lawyers with expertise in activism and social movements. ”

It claims that it is “roughly three times more cost-effective to send activists than lobbyists.”

Its mission page states that it is working with an “international network of activists” called the A22 network, of which Just Stop Oil is part, and which seeks specific ways to “build mass civil resistance.” They say they have created a “proven method for scaling destructive protests,” and the Climate Emergency Fund is their primary funder.

In 2022, the Climate Emergency Fund will raise $4.5 million Grants to 43 organizations.

The link, which asks potential donors to “support this uprising,” says, “History teaches us the fastest way to create transformative change through sustained civic resistance.” increase. It also asks, “Please help support JustStop Oil in 10 other groups in the A22 network to recruit thousands of everyday people to join the fight for humanity.” increase.

time magazine In his 2019 essay, Salamon said “We will do whatever we can to spread the truth about climate and build the power to support the need for World War II-scale climate mobilization.”

in the post of twitter In October she wrote: please. Please be sincere. You have to make the movement bigger. Help them build a movement and design actions in line with your vision. ”

and editorial In a Guardian article titled “I fund climate action — and applaud Van Gogh’s protests,” Getty “proudly” “funded the Climate Emergency Fund.” It provides grants to climate activists who engage in non-violent legal civil disobedience.” Including Just Stop Oil, a group represented by activists.”

“I do not directly fund these groups, nor do I have direct control over which specific actions climate activists take,” she added.

The Epoch Times has been unable to establish the level of funding provided to Just Stop Oil by the Climate Emergency Fund. Neither organization responded to requests for comment.

Just Stop Oil Climate Activists Destroy Buildings
Just Stop Oil demonstrators spray an orange substance on a Jack Barclay Bentley store in Berkeley Square, London, England, October 26, 2022. (Isabel Infantes/Getty Images)

Funding various disruptive elements

Crowdfunder, the UK’s largest crowdfunding platform, closed Just Stop Oil’s account last month. Its co-founder and director told The Epoch Times in an email that it “no longer complies with its terms of use” after a string of vandalism.

Just Stop Oil now has an account on an internationally regulated global crowdfunding platform founded in Australia called Chuffed. This site is a vehicle for progressive purposes. one account is fundraising So that Nigerian progressives can pursue a “socialist revolution.”

Chavd did not respond to a request for comment.

Environmental skeptic Ben Pile, co-founder of the Climate Resistance blog, told The Epoch Times:

But Pyle said he believed he would eventually be “held accountable.”

“There will be settlements. We have a date with reality when the establishment finally realizes we can’t sustain a first world economy on wind farms. It’s not going to work and until the political system allows it, we’re becoming an economy of any class. No,” Pyle said.

“And they are going to do damage and questions will be asked. It won’t be like the COVID review. It’s a bare attempt to change our values ​​and embrace that change,” he said.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Owen Evans


Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech, covering stories from a wide variety of countries.