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Anti-oil protesters strike again, arrested for painting Stonehenge monument

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Two climate protesters sprayed orange paint onto the ancient Stonehenge monument on Wednesday, June 19. Onlookers tried to intervene and the duo was eventually arrested for their actions.

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak labeled it “a disgraceful act of vandalism,” and English Heritage — the organization that manages the historical site — described the incident as “extremely upsetting.”

The vandalism occurred just one day before thousands were expected to gather at the 4,500-year-old stone circle to celebrate the summer solstice, the year’s longest day.

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Just Stop Oil, the group claiming responsibility, stated that the act was part of its campaign urging the incoming United Kingdom government to commit to ending “the extraction of oil, gas and coal by 2030,” and to collaborate with other European countries to achieve this goal.

The Labour Party has announced that, should it win the elections on July 4, it will not issue any new licenses for oil and gas expl oration. While Just Stop Oil agrees with the moratorium, the group believes that the promise does not go far enough.

The activist group contends that the vandalism of the monument is only superficial, as the paint is made from cornstarch and can allegedly be easily washed off the stones.

“Our action in no way damaged the monument,” Rajan Naidu, one of the activists reportedly involved in the incident, said. “We brought attention to this because we are committed to preserving something far more significant: our planet’s biosphere.”

Just Stop Oil is among several climate activist groups in Europe known for their notorious acts. Previous incidents include throwing paint and food at renowned artworks, disrupting sporting events and blocking traffic to draw attention to climate change.

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

IT’S AN INCIDENT SPARKING OUTRAGE AND CONDEMNATION–  

TWO CLIMATE PROTESTERS SPRAYED ORANGE PAINT ONTO THE ANCIENT STONEHENGE MONUMENT WEDNESDAY AS PEOPLE TRIED TO STOP THEM– BEFORE THE PAIR WERE ARRESTED.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER RISHI SUNAK CALLED IT “A DISGRACEFUL ACT OF VANDALISM” AND ENGLISH HERITAGE, WHICH MANAGES THE HISTORICAL SITE SAID IT WAS “EXTREMELY UPSETTING.”

THE ASSAULT ON THE SACRED SITE COMES JUST A DAY BEFORE THOUSANDS ARE EXPECTED TO GATHER AT THE 45-HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD STONE CIRCLE TO CELEBRATE THE SUMMER SOLSTICE. 

JUST STOP OIL, THE GROUP CLAIMING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE INCIDENT, IS DEMANDING THE INCOMING U-K GOVERNMENT WORK TO “END THE EXTRACTION OF OIL, GAS AND COAL BY 2030.”

THE LABOUR PARTY HAS SAID IF IT WINS THE ELECTIONS ON JULY 4TH– IT WOULD NOT ISSUE ANYMORE LICENSES FOR OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION. JUST STOP OIL AGREES WITH THE MORATORIUM BUT SAID IT DOESN’T GO FAR ENOUGH.

THE ACTIVIST GROUP ARGUES THE VANDALISM IS SUPERFICIAL– WITH THE PAINT MADE OF CORNSTARCH– ALLOWING IT TO BE WASHED AWAY EASILY.

JUST STOP OIL RELEASED A STATEMENT FROM ONE OF THE ACTIVISTS FOLLOWING THE INCIDENT:

[L3: RAJAN NAIDU]

“OUR ACTION IN NO WAY DAMAGED IT. WE’RE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT THAT. BUT WE BROUGHT YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS AND THE REASON WE DID THAT IS BECAUSE WE HAVE SOMETHING ELSE, WE WANT TO PRESERVE, WHICH IS OUR PLANET’S BIOSPHERE.”

[LAUREN TAYLOR]

THE ORGANIZATION IS ONE OF MANY GROUPS ACROSS EUROPE WHO HAVE GAINED NOTORIETY FOR SPLASHING PAINTS AND FOOD ON FAMOUS WORKS OF ART, DISRUPTING SPORTING EVENTS AND HALTING TRAFFIC TO BRING ATTENTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE.

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