We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

A protester jumps on the table during a match on day three of the Cazoo World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre. PA

Two arrests after 'Just Stop Oil' protesters force stoppage at World Snooker Championship

A ‘Just Stop Oil’ protester interrupted the match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry by jumping on the table and releasing a packet of orange dye.

LAST UPDATE | 17 Apr 2023

CLIMATE ACTIVISTS FROM the ‘Just Stop Oil’ group were arrested after disrupting the World Snooker Championship this evening, with one throwing orange powder on the table at the Crucible Theatre.

Joe Perry’s first-round match against Robert Milkins had to be stopped when a man jumped onto the table and emptied a bag of orange powder across the green baize.

Stunned fans watched on as half of the table and many of the balls were covered in the cloud of powder, with the man kneeling on the baize for several seconds before a security guard dragged him away.

The man was wearing a white t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan ‘Just Stop Oil’ on the back.

On the other table at the Sheffield arena, the match between Mark Allen and Fan Zhengyi was interrupted when a woman, also wearing a ‘Just Stop Oil’ t-shirt, tried to get on the table at the same time as the male protestor.

She was dragged off by referee Olivier Marteel before any powder was thrown.

“Two people were detained after protesters gained entry to The Crucible earlier this evening,” a South Yorkshire Police statement said.

“A 30-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. Both are in police custody.”

In a press release, Just Stop Oil said two supporters had staged the stunt to highlight the group’s demand that the government stop all new UK fossil fuel projects.

It named those responsible as Margaret Reid, a 52-year-old former museum professional from northwest England, and Eddie Whittingham, 30, a student at Exeter university.

“I did not take this action lightly, but I cannot remain a passive spectator while our government knowingly pushes us down a path to destruction,” Reid said in comments provided in the press release.

“I can no longer justify watching from the sidelines.”

‘It is scary’ 

Play was immediately suspended as vacuum cleaners were brought into the arena, with master of ceremonies Rob Walker among those helping to sweep up the mess.

Allen and Fan were given a standing ovation on their return to the arena after the clean-up operation.

Former world champion Stephen Hendry, working as a commentator for the BBC, said: “I have never seen that before at a snooker event. It’s a first.

“It is scary. Wow! You just hope the cloth can be recovered from that. It caught us all by surprise and then this happens.”

Just Stop Oil last year staged a flurry of eye-catching direct-action protests: blocking highways and throwing tomato soup over Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” painting.

Other collectives, including “Extinction Rebellion” and “Insulate Britain” have held similar disruptive demonstrations.

The protest came just two days after Saturday’s Grand National was delayed by almost 15 minutes when animal-rights protesters attempted to enter the racecourse and tie themselves to fences and railings along the route.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel