Climate change protests distracts from the message


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Recently, climate change activists have become more outspoken by doing bizarre things to gather attention.

Every U.S. citizen has the right to a peaceful protest, but there comes the point when action distracts from its original message. 

Recently, climate change activists have been seen gluing themselves to famous works of art in an attempt to bring attention to climate change. 

Reporters and readers are not talking about climate change or how to solve the issue. Instead, they discuss how bizarre the activists are acting and how individuals should not attempt to destroy classic art pieces.

In Melbourne, Australia, two activists from the international group Extinction Rebellion glued their hands to cover Picasso’s “Massacre en Corée” (Massacre in Korea). 

Extinction Rebellion is a group of global environmental activists whose demands are for political officials to tell the truth, actively prevent climate change and go beyond politics, according to Extinction Rebellion

The protesters can be seen with their hands glued to the timeless painting and spreading a banner at their feet with the words, “climate chaos = war + famine,” reported SBS News

Those involved with the Extinction Rebellion group are not the only ones protesting, individuals in other countries are also attacking classic artwork in protest of climate change. 

A couple of young activists in London, United Kingdom, went so far as to throw cans of soup at Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” painting.  

Many videos were recorded of the two activists. As soon as the soup hits the artwork, people are heard gasping in the background and one bystander yells for security. 

Fortunately, there was a layer of protective glass between the protesters and Van Gogh’s artwork and employees of the museum were able to clean it and have it back on proper display quickly. 

The young activists wore “just stop oil” t-shirts printed in bold letters. They glued their hands to the wall under the painting and shouted, “What is worth more, art or life?” 

The protests are getting news coverage with each act of vandalism, but they have not achieved the goal climate change activists hoped for, which is pushing officials to act on climate change and bringing awareness to the public. 

The Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, views the recent protest as vandalism, according to the Belgian Times

At the same time, British news source, the Guardian weighs whether vandalizing artwork can be justified regardless of the motive behind the action. 

Additionally, American news source The Atlantic even goes so far as to call the recent protests “embarrassing.”

How effective can a protest be if people are only taking note of the acts of vandalism to many beloved and critically acclaimed pieces of art? 

A protest should not seek to harm or destroy beautiful artwork, that is embarrassing. 

Instead, protesters could hold a strike, chant their beliefs outside oil corporation headquarters and/or march. 

When it comes to exercising the right to protest for or against a cause, you must plan ahead for all possible outcomes. While you might believe one action is a great idea, the public won’t always agree.