By: Henry Berger
Humans, for as long as they have existed, have always been notorious for making poor decisions. Whether it was American far right conservatives storming the Capital on Jan. 6, 2021, or ancient Romans allowing their civilization to collapse due to political instability.
The most recent act of stupidity seen across European nations is something one would call Vandalism Activism. More specifically, climate change activism.
Destruction of some of our world’s finest pieces of art has been taking place in multiple European countries, and could potentially spread to the rest of the world.
On Oct. 14, two British climate activists threw tomato soup at a Vincent Van Gogh painting titled “Sunflowers”. This painting was displayed at National Gallery in London, and was painted in 1888.
What can be found more upsetting about this situation? The fact that these paintings are timeless, culturally significant, and cherished by many, or the fact that these activists are protesting the earth’s destruction, by destroying harmless and special aspects of humanity?
These acts of destruction have also occurred in Germany, where two climate activists decided to “throw mashed potatoes at a Monet”. A man in the Netherlands even glued his own head to Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”
Perhaps the most upsetting part of the situation is that left-wing news outlets such as MSNBC have not only understood the destruction, but have also praised it.
Zeeshan Aleem, an MSNBC Opinion Columnist said in one of his pieces, “I certainly cannot condemn them, and I find them powerful.”
This is an embarrassment. Since when did global wide destruction of timeless relics become permissible and even supported?
It has been proven over and over again that destruction, violence, and anger have never helped gain support or momentum for a cause. Instead it has proven to worsen tensions between differing opinions and has always led to more issues.
The greatest example of American non-violent protests enacting change would be Martin Luther King, Jr. and his successes during the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr was able to fight against the racist injustices with his words, and his peaceful actions, unlike these acts of vandalism.
On March 3, 1913, a group of women marched just outside of the nation’s Capitol building to protest their rights. The women were verbally attacked by opposers but they remained peaceful and it ultimately was successful. The New York Times stated it was “one of the most impressively beautiful spectacles ever staged in this country.”
The fact that these climate vandalists think destroying art is going to help their cause is mind baffling. These acts have even stirred up controversy among their own climate activist peers.
Many climate activists that weren’t a part of the destruction and vandalism of art are upset, and do not agree with this approach to the issue.
One climate activist in particular even stated, “It could backfire by alienating potential supporters.”
These acts of destruction have definitely turned some potential supporters away from engaging in even the slightest amount of activism, purely because they don’t want to be associated with this group.
Even though it is only a slight portion of climate activists committing these atrocities, the entire reputation of the climate activism community
has been damaged. This is upsetting to many who have worked hard at combating climate change issues, in a more professional and effective way.
The crowd who is responsible for these crimes must be held accountable for their actions and should be liable for all damages.