Just Stop Oil protestors throw soup over Vincent Van Gogh masterpiece in …
Damien Gayle

Climate campaigning group Just Stop Oil has hit the headlines recently with various shocking protest stunts, but it has unexpectedly given rise to a bizarre conspiracy theory on TikTok.

On Friday 14 October, the group shocked onlookers as two Just Stop Oil activists threw tomato soup on Vincent Van Gogh’s famous ‘Sunflowers’ painting in the National Gallery, before supergluing their hands to the wall.

One of the activists, Phoebe Plummer, 21, who was later arrested for criminal damages and aggravated trespassing, could be heard shouting: “What is worth more, art or life? Is it worth more than food? More than justice? Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting or the protection of our planet and people?”

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The National Gallery protest was just one of many taking place in London as more of its protestors are, at the time of writing, reporting live from the Queen Elizabeth II bridge having scaled it.

According to the UK-based organisation’s website, its goal is to encourage the government to ban “new licences and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK”.

But, on TikTok, it has been claimed that Just Stop Oil protests are actually being funded by oil companies to make them look bad.

According to Screenshot, in a now-deleted TikTok, a woman made the claim along with her “evidence” that the group has previously received large donations from Aileen Getty, the granddaughter of Big Oil industry mogul, Jean Paul Getty.

But, the apparent evidence soon falls to shreds as Aileen Getty is the founding donor of an organisation called the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF) which exists to fund and support groups and activists fighting climate change.

@tomnicholaswtf

TikTok is currently ablaze with a conspiracy theory that Just Stop Oil is funded by the fossil fuel industry. But it’s not true! #juststopoil #juststopoilprotest #conspiracy #conspirancytheory #climatechange #climateaction #climatecrisis #climatecrisistiktok #climate #politics #leftist #woketok #vangogh #sunflowers #art #tiktok #fossilfuels #debunked

The theory was also expertly debunked in a TikTok response to the now-deleted one in which the claim that the protests were being funded by Big Oil was made.

TikToker @tomnicholaswtf, explained: “Aileen Getty’s well-documented and well-publicised donations to climate action groups appear to be more the result of being someone who feels guilty about where her family’s wealth has come from, rather than any kind of attempts to undermine the climate movement.”

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