Anger over climate crisis moves on to target “luxury activities”
Climate activists broke the shop front of Lisbon’s Gucci store in Avenida da Liberdade yesterday, showing how anger over the climate crisis has moved on from simply demonstrating about the use of ‘fossil fuels’. It is now focused on anything that activists deem to be the domain of the privileged.
The privileged – people who play golf, or shop at Gucci – should be made to pay for the cost of the energetic transition, say the activists, suggesting it is the fault of the privileged (who consume the most) that the planet is in its state of climate flux.
Writing on their Facebook page last night, Climáximo – the group that led yesterday’s attack on Gucci- explains : “we are living in a climatic emergency, it is necessary to break the false sensation of peace. We demand that those who have contributed the most to this crisis should be financially responsible for the cost of the transition. To this end, it is imperative not only to create a new IRS bracket for incomes over €150,000 per year that is taxed at 99%, but also to create a Public Renewable Energy Service”.
In a more detailed explanation on their web page, Climáximo refers to the Gucci brand belonging to French billionaire François-Henri Pinault, who has assets of €40 billion, and is “one of the richest men in the world, 28th in 2023, according to Forbes Magazine).
A clip within the text shows an activist who only recently threw red paint over a Picasso claiming that while the ultra rich people have never consumed so much, “others” are “thrown out of their homes and deported”.
Portuguese media has since carried stories on ‘how to differentiate between the two climate groups’ (one using red paint to make its points, the other green – generally to douse politicians). But to be fair, even a passing analysis of press photos shows the same faces appearing under both ‘banners’: Climáximo and Greve Climática Estudantil.
The problem with these groups’ current ‘antics’ is that they do not appear to be taking the public with them. Quite the opposite. It was two members of the public who went after yesterday’s Gucci hammer-attackers – one of which found herself delivered into the hands of the authorities.
Recent climate ‘actions’ in Lisbon have seen activists slapped with large fines (€600 each) to avoid jail terms. Questions may start being asked as to who is paying these fines. But certainly the ‘cause’ has not been helped – as multiple comments over social media keep illustrating.
One commentator had this message for the activists: “I have been accompanying your actions; the image you transmit is of people full of rage, breaking, throwing paint, throwing yourselves on the ground, etc. It will get nowhere. If you want to demonstrate in a peaceful fashion do so in front of parliament; ask to speak with MPs, with the President. Violence generates violence. One day it could go wrong. It is not these acts of damage to private property that will make the miracle of people changing the way they live happen. Fight with more intelligence. Thank you”.
It is one of the kindest comments visible.
Others are not so charitable, like the one that points out that there is no correlation between the actions of Climáximo and any concern for the environment. “Climáximo is not concerned about the environment. Climáximo is concerned with using useful idiots to impose a third world extreme left agenda”.