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Life's Rich Pageant

Terrible Scenes At The Crucible As Snooker Championship Match Abandoned Due To Rude Powdering

5:01 PM EDT on April 17, 2023

A protester explodes a bag of orange powder atop a billiard table.
Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Here's a sentiment you would not expect to see being expressed by a snooker social media account, during the 2023 World Snooker Championship—snooker in general being a rather sedate parlor game and spectator event:

What happened? A protester with Just Stop Oil—the stunt activist group known for befouling artwork in public galleries and taking the insanely dangerous risk of occupying the tarmac at the 2022 British Grand Prix—scaled the barrier around one of the two active matches, mounted the table where Robert Milkins and Joe Perry were actively competing, and successfully emptied a bag of bright orange powder, to the horror of the very serious snooker crowd:

This stunt was only half-successful: At the adjacent table, where Mark Allen and Fan Zhengyi were competing, a second protester was restrained, by a man in a tuxedo and white gloves, before she was able to fully mount the table and contribute to the action:

Here are three photos that demand your immediate attention:

A protester explodes a bag of orange powder atop a billiard table.
The protester is pulled off the table by security.
The table absolutely coated in orange dust.

Vacuum cleaners were brought into the arena to clean up the mess, but BBC reports that the match between Milkins and Perry eventually had to be abandoned due to half the table being several millimeters deep with what I prefer to believe is the powdered sauce mix from several boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese. Yorkshire police reported that the 52-year-old woman detained at the second table was not there to detonate a second cheese-bomb, but instead to glue herself bodily to the table, which objectively is a far more ambitious undertaking and also would've been extremely hilarious. Because she was unsuccessful, that match was resumed after a 40-minute delay. Both she and the 30-year-old powder man were arrested.

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