Just Stop Oil: Two protesters charged after Twickenham rugby final pitch invasion

Samuel Johnson, a construction worker from Reydon, Suffolk and Patrick Hart, a GP from Bristol were charged with aggravated trespass.
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Two Just Stop Oil protesters have been charged for disrupting the Gallagher Premiership rugby union final at Twickenham, the Metropolitan Police has said.

Two men invaded the pitch midway through the first half of the match in south-west London between Saracens and Sale on Saturday May 27, throwing orange paint powder onto the field resulting in a stoppage in play.

Orange powder remained on the field as the match resumed, with Saracens winning the game.

Samuel Johnson, a construction worker from Reydon, Suffolk and Patrick Hart, a GP from Bristol were charged with aggravated trespass.

Just Stop Oil protesters thrown orange paint onto the pitch at Twickenham Stadium. Credit: Just Stop OilJust Stop Oil protesters thrown orange paint onto the pitch at Twickenham Stadium. Credit: Just Stop Oil
Just Stop Oil protesters thrown orange paint onto the pitch at Twickenham Stadium. Credit: Just Stop Oil

Commander Kyle Gordon of the Met, Gold Commander for events in London on the day said: “To date we have seen 102 slow marches across London by Just Stop Oil that has caused serious disruption and frustration to those going about their business in the city leading to 51 arrests to date.

“Similarly, yesterday’s incident at the rugby final will have caused frustration to both the players and spectators alike. With many other events taking place, and visitors in our capital this weekend, we will continue to monitor and respond to such incidents quickly.

“Where protest moves into criminality or serious disruption, we will take robust action to ensure Londoners and visitors alike can continue to enjoy their Bank Holiday weekend”

Dr Hart, 37, said in a statement on Saturday: "I am doing this because it’s my duty as a doctor. The climate crisis is the greatest health crisis humanity has ever faced. People are dying now and more will die every day unless we stop new oil, gas and coal.

"In the same way the tobacco companies lied to us that tobacco was safe, the scrum of fossil fuel companies and corrupt politicians have been lying to us. They are keeping us addicted to fossil fuels, even though they know it’s killing us.

"I am not prepared to let them get away with mass murder. We are ordinary people. We are the doctors and nurses who care for you when you are sick. I call on everyone to come and join us in the streets and be on the right side of history."

Johnson, 40 said: “I took action today simply because we have run out of time. We’ve got to tackle this now. We have known for longer than I’ve been alive what would happen if we kept burning fossil fuels and now we are seeing this catastrophe unfold in real time. The whole world knows that licensing new fossil fuel projects in 2023 will cause the deaths of millions of people.”

“We are at the greatest crossroads humanity has ever faced and unless we act now we will lose everything we have ever cared about. I have a nephew who is 7 years old, who I love to bits, and as long as I have breath in my lungs I will fight to protect his future.”

Just Stop have been taking part in slow marches along central London roads since April 24 and the group also caused disruption at the Chelsea Flower show.

The climate action group is demanding an end to all new oil, gas and coal projects in the UK.

Both men were remanded in custody to appear at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Monday May 29.