Eco-warriors Just Stop Oil have prompted outrage by comparing themselves and their struggle to those who hid Holocaust victim Anne Frank.
The group, which has triggered fury for blocking the M25 motorway every day this week, tweeted on Thursday: “The people who hid Anne Frank during WW2 were criminals… So were the French Resistance.
“Obeying the law does not give you the moral high ground – not when it’s still legal for our government to greenlight enough oil and gas to kill millions. Good people break bad laws.”
The tweet was posted in response to former leader of UKIP Henry Bolton, who applauded the decision of Westminster Magistrates’ Court to imprison JTO member Louise Harris until her trial.
The people who hid Anne Frank during WW2 were criminals, Henry. So were the French Resistance.— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) November 10, 2022
Obeying the law does not give you the moral highground — not when it's still legal for our Government to greenlight enough oil and gas to kill millions.
Good people break bad laws. https://t.co/U6SHwroR7y
A video of Louise Harris speaking from a gantry above Junction 25 went viral earlier this week.
Mr Bolton’s tweet read: “Quite right. If you commit a crime, don’t complain if you’re arrested, prosecuted, and jailed.”
Many were outraged at the flippancy with which JTO compared themselves to Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who famously kept a diary documenting life hiding from Nazi persecution in an attic in Amsterdam.
In response to the controversy, a spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism told the JC: "Such comparisons to victims of the Holocaust, the genocide of six million Jewish men, women and children, are totally inappropriate and insulting. This is not the first time radical environmentalists have been caught up in Holocaust controversy. By resorting to degrading the memory of a Jewish girl murdered as part of the worst atrocity in human history, Just Stop Oil only weakens its case and whatever remains of its credibility."
⛓ BREAKING: Louise Harris has been imprisoned until her trial after disrupting M25 motorway along with 10 others at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) November 8, 2022
Support Civil Resistance at https://t.co/HBHsudWj6v
Contributor to the Telegraph, Bella Wallerstein, tweeted: “My Jewish great grandmother was hidden by brave neighbours in Ulm, Germany for the duration of the war. You’re nothing like them.”
Simon Myerson KC, Chair of the Leeds Jewish Representative Council, tweeted: “Good tip: Don’t try and compare your self-indulgent performative nonsense to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany. Because it’s crass, wrong and arguably racist.”
Mike Katz, National Chair of Jewish Labour, tweeted: “This is a phenomenally bad take. Especially on Armistice Day.”
Ms Harris is one of several dozen individuals who have so far been charged with causing public nuisance for disrupting the M25 this week.
Just Stop Oil had announced plans to disrupt motorways and commutes from the end of September and throughout October, which the Metropolitan police said has so far resulted in 677 arrests with 111 people charged, and officers working a total of 9,438 additional shifts.