Armed only with 2 tins of spraypaint and a pointed rock I did £2,400 worth of damage to 4 4x4 beasts in the forecourt (3 Rav4s and 1 Land Cruiser), spraying and scratching slogans like “4x4 More Oil More War”, “Petrol is costing the Earth” and the simple, unauthorised “GREENPEACE”, in addition to putting a few dents in them.
Since my last visit to the Leeds Road dealership arcade in July, security had been brought in, and as I made a casual getaway I was apprehended by police in 5 squad cars, who were very nice throughout my arrest and overnight detention, remarking “It’s not your job to put the world to rights.” I wish it wasn’t, because I am most amateurish, attempting to disable the CCTV after I had tackled the 4x4s, during which I had forgotten to pull my bandanna up over my nose. But whose job is it, then? Theirs?
Actually I did think they were well cheeky to go and search my home while I was in the cells, before I'd even been charged. Apparently this is permitted under a Section 18, which covers anyone arrested? They said they were looking for more spraypaint, or for Greenpeace literature, and they didn't find any. I reckon they couldn't find the house.
To apply further hindsight to self-criticise my direct action:
I was on my own, I only had black spraypaint, which is ineffective against black vehicles, my slogans were a bit boring and obvious, I went over the top in being disarmingly honest in custody, owning up to a much bigger eco-terrorist spree earlier in the year, I should have started off at my main target - the Land Rover dealership which I never reached (Land Rover Discoveries do as little as 12 miles to the gallon in urban use whereas Toyota’s gas guzzlers are a bit less greedy), I should have taken photographs, I hadn’t considered who I would appoint as solicitor, I hadn’t checked with Greenpeace if I could use their name in my stunt, I hadn’t done enough planning to ensure my act of civil disobedience would reach a broader audience.
On the positive side I only attacked vehicles still belonging to their producer rather than to private individuals (not that I would condemn this outright), I thoroughly charmed the police, I hadn’t been drinking or on drugs or used smutty language, and I proper cleaned up in the interview room.
But mainly I did it, and it was fun.
I am bailed with a 9pm curfew and a clause not to enter any garage forecourts until my trial for criminal damage on Wednesday morning, 28th September at Huddersfield magistrate's court. Come along if you fancy a laugh.