A Big Oil heiress is a key funder of a sprawling global network of grassroots climate groups, including the U.K.-based Just Stop Oil, which staged a protest Friday vandalizing a famous painting.
Aileen Getty, the granddaughter of the Getty Oil founder, is the founding donor of the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), a Los Angeles-based organization that finances several high-profile climate protest groups around the world. Getty, who is a prolific environmental philanthropist, wired $500,000 to CEF shortly after it was founded in 2019, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Boosted by Getty’s initial and continued contributions, CEF has awarded millions of dollars to radical groups that have engaged in disruptive protests worldwide. Among CEF’s grantees is the A22 Network, which is made up of Just Stop Oil, the U.S.-based Declare Emergency and groups in nine countries including Germany, France and Canada.
“We’re in this kind of surreal situation in which scientists are telling us this is the point of no return. And yet all of our institutions — they’re all just marching forward with a little bit of window dressing talk about sustainability, but basically continuing as usual,” Margaret Klein Salamon, CEF’s executive director, said in a statement shared with Fox News Digital.
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“So these activists intervene and they say, ‘Things are not normal. They’re so bad that I’m gonna do this crazy thing and glue myself to a painting or a frame.’ It only makes sense because of how absolutely terrible the climate emergency is,” Salamon continued.
CEF states on its website that it works with, and is the lead funder of, the A22 Network, which it adds that is planning an “October uprising.” On its site, the A22 Network acknowledges that CEF is the primary funder of it and its “11 member project’s recruitment, training, and capacity building.”
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On Friday, Just Stop Oil activists were arrested by London police after they poured tomato soup on a Vincent van Gogh painting, worth millions of dollars, at a museum.
“What use is art when we face the collapse of civil society?” Just Stop Oil said in a statement following the action. “The art establishment, artists and the art-loving public need to step up into Civil Resistance if they want to live in a world where humans are around to appreciate art.”
In recent months, the group has repeatedly organized protests in which its members have glued themselves to famous paintings. Just Stop Oil activists have also blocked major roads and highways in the U.K., in some cases forcing emergency vehicles to take different routes to their destination.
“It’s clear that new oil and gas is going to cause unimaginable suffering for the people of this country and, indeed, the people around the world who are suffering at the expense of climate change now,” a Just Stop Oil spokesperson told Fox News Digital when asked about the group’s tactics in July.
Through the first four months of 2022, CEF contributed a whopping $650,000 to Just Stop Oil and other protest groups, The Guardian reported in April. Just Stop Oil alone has received hundreds of thousands of dollars.
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Declare Emergency, another A22 Network organization, has made headlines in the U.S. for blocking traffic near Washington, D.C., in an effort to convince President Biden to declare a “climate emergency.”
Just Stop Oil didn’t respond to a request for comment.