Not only rain disrupts tennis: Just Stop Oil arrived to Wimbledon with orange shredded paper

Just Stop Oil
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LONDON – It wasn’t just rainfall that interrupted tennis at Wimbledon several times on the third day. There was also, another kind of rain: Just Stop Oil ‘s orange-colored confetti cut the action on Court 18. Twice.

Two protesters from the climate change group jumped into the match between Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov and Sho Shimabukuro and threw shredded paper hidden in a 1,000-piece Wimbledon puzzle box. The puzzle and confetti were scattered all over the court. Before security acted, play was no longer possible. The crowd booed, while the players were accompanied by guards.

Same situation happened later, on the same court, during local Katie Boulter and Daria Saville’s match. The location was not random. Court 18 is located just below the media terrace, and enjoys many good photo angles.

Without vacuums, the ballkids had to clean up the mess with their hands. Boulter and Saville also got involved picking up the confetti. All the protesters were taken away by the Metropolitan Police.

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Just Stop Oil

“Politicians need to stop this,” said one of the protesters, as he was escorted away. Just Stop Oil aims to get the UK government to stop new licenses for fossil fuel extraction, and uses sport events as a platform. They became world famous when two of their members threw Heinz tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers painting in the National Gallery.

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“Shame on you!, we wanna see the players, not you, bastard!” a young man shouted at the activist wearing the agrupation’s T-shirt as he was led away from the AELTC in handcuffs. This thursday, as didn’t happened before, security was asking people to show what they are wearing under the jackets and sweatshirts, looking for t-shirts with political message, and jigsaws were taken off sale.


Just Stop Oil
The protestor of Just Stop Oil, walking away with handcuffs // SEBASTIAN VARELA
Ballkids had to clean the mess // SEBASTIÁN VARELA

“Wimbledon has a meaningful role to play in helping to protect the environment, today and for the future. Our ambition to have a positive impact on the environment is central. We know that this is one of the defining challenges of our times, and we are fully committed to playing our part to achieve a positive environmental impact across all of our operations. We are disappointed that three individuals sought to disrupt the enjoyment of others today and we continue to work closely with our partners in the Metropolitan Police as we look into every aspect of today’s events,”, told CLAY a spokeperson of the AELTC.

The organization of the tournament made the entrance to the club even more restrictive, after Just Stop Oil interrupted several sporting events. They appeared at the Snooker World Cup, The Ashes (popular cricket tournament between Australia and England) and the Grand National (equestrian race) with their traditional orange powder.

Wimbledon extended the list of prohibited objects, such as aerosols, cables or glue (at Roland Garros 2022, a demonstrator tied her neck to the net). Baggage controls are also much more exhaustive.

Just Stop Oil
Prohibited iteams at The Championships // SEBASTIAN VARELA
Just Stop Oil
Just Stop Oil interrumpió el torneo de cricket Ashes Test // AP

Local idol Andy Murray anticipated Wednesday’s disruptions. “I think there’s a good chance of something happening. I was talking about it with my family the other day. I don’t know what your reaction would be if someone ran onto the court and came up to you, because you don’t know who he is, what they’re doing or why they’re doing it,” the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon champion explained.

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“They would have to be careful when approaching tennis players, who obviously have rackets in their hands,” added the Briton.

At, least, the protestors are true enviromentalist. The orange powder would have damaged the courts. Grass will be fine. It’s just confetti.

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