If you’ve been watching the football recently, you may have noticed there have been some pretty weird stoppages.

It’s had nothing to do with VAR – or the actions of players.

Protesters have been running onto the pitch and attempting to tie, handcuff or glue themselves to the goalposts.

It’s so far happened during four matches, with varying levels of success.

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In the game between Everton and Newcastle on 17 March, the match had to be stopped while security attempted to remove 21-year-old Louis McKechnie – who was eventually cut free using a pair of bolt cutters and was led from the ground, to boos from the crowd, by police.

Merseyside Police have confirmed he was arrested and charged with pitch encroachment and aggravated trespass

Who is responsible for these protests?
The group that has claimed responsibility is called Just Stop Oil.

They describe themselves as a “coalition of groups working together” to demand the government stop the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal in the UK.

“We must urgently end our reliance on fossil fuels to avoid irreversible changes in the earth’s climate system,” their website says.

The group says it wants action both in the short and long-term to reduce demand for fossil fuel energy – such as home insulation and renewable energy.

If the tactics seem familiar, it’s because – like other groups such as Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain – Just Stop Oil claim to be willing to use “non-violent civil resistance” to make their point in public spaces.

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That includes things such as strikes, boycotts, mass protests and disruption.

Some people have criticised those types of methods as being too extreme and creating too much disruption to people’s lives.

After the protest during the Everton game, presenter Gary Lineker said in a tweet whether “you approve of this young man’s methods or not, he’s right, his future is perilous”.

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