JK Rowling ridicules Just Stop Oil over Stonehenge protest with damning verdict on activists

JK Rowling

JK Rowling has ripped apart Just Stop Oil over their Stonehenge protest

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 21/06/2024

- 12:46

The Harry Potter author has pulled no punches on the activists' stunt

JK Rowling has weighed in on Just Stop Oil's controversial protest at Stonehenge earlier this week.

On Wednesday, climate activists vandalised the ancient stones by spraying them with an orange cornflour substance from what appeared to be repurposed fire extinguishers.

The group did so as it continues to demand that the next government after the General Election sign a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030.

Just Stop Oil named the protestors as Rajan Naidu, 73, and Niamh Lynch, 21, after footage emerged of them running up to the monument to cover it in the orange-coloured substance.

The group has been condemned by several members of the public for the stunt and Rowling decided to wade into the fury.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Rowling reacted to a post by Just Stop Oil that read: "The orange cornflour we used will soon wash away with the rain, but the urgent need for effective government action to mitigate the catastrophic consequences of the climate and ecological crisis will not."

Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil activists targeted Stonehenge earlier this week


Rowling hit back by writing: "Public opinion’s definitely moving, mostly towards the conclusion that you’re funded by Big Oil."

In a follow-up post, Rowling went on: "Let’s not target anyone or anything remotely responsible for climate change.

"Let’s attack a unique ancient monument to which everyone’s hugely attached, incidentally endangering rare lichen that only grows there,” she sarcastically critiqued.

The activist group defended the stunt with a statement that read: "Continuing to burn coal, oil and gas will result in the death of millions.

"We have to come together to defend humanity or we risk everything. That’s why Just Stop Oil is demanding that our next government sign up to a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030."

Spokesperson Gill Tavner appeared on GB News to double down on the group's defence of its actions, claiming the paint "will be washed off really easily" and is "not long-lasting damage at all".

Tavner told Emily Carver and Tom Harwood: "It's unlike the damage that is being done now by the fossil fuel industry by just keeping burning fossil fuels, putting more CO2 in the atmosphere."

Emily quickly pointed out that it was a "criminal offence" to cause any harm to the protected site under the Ancient Monuments Act, but Tavner was unwavering.

"So because this stuff can be washed off, ergo, there's no issue here? Stonehenge isn't particularly happy about this - this isn't good for nature, is it?" Emily quizzed.

Tavner argued: "I think you're getting things so out of perspective here. What isn't good for nature is the damage we are doing now.

Jk Rowling

JK Rowling took to social media to mock the climate activists


"And what's not good for nature globally is not good for you, it's not good for me, and it's not good for the people watching this programme."

When Emily tried to encourage Just Stop Oil to try a different approach that wouldn't risk alienating members of the public, Tavner disagreed.

The JSO spokesperson hit back: "Let's get some of the fossil fuel CEOs on the channel and ask them about the real damage they're doing, instead of asking some people about spraying a bit of orange powder paint.

"You know, we need to get perspective, please. Because this is really serious and really important."

Wiltshire Police said officers had attended the scene and arrested two people.

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