Just Stop Oil now target STONEHENGE as world heritage site defaced with orange paint

Just Stop Oil now target STONEHENGE as world heritage site defaced with orange paint

WATCH: JSO protesters target the iconic stone circle

Just Stop Oil
James Saunders

By James Saunders


Published: 19/06/2024

- 13:06

Updated: 19/06/2024

- 14:50

'Standing inert for generations works well for stones – not climate policy,' one protester jabbed

Just Stop Oil activists have defaced Stonehenge the day before the Summer Solstice in an act of vandalism to raise awareness on climate change.

As seen in dramatic images from the Unesco World Heritage site in Wiltshire, the stones have been daubed with orange powder paint in what the protest group calls "megalithic action" to demand the UK to drop fossil fuels in a matter of years.


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Though the protest group reassured the public the paint would "wash away with the rain", it has threatened that today's action at the ancient stone circle will herald the arrival of summer-long "civil resistance" at "areas of key importance to the fossil fuel economy" around the world.

A Just Stop Oil statement claimed the damage formed part of the group's efforts to push the government to "commit to working with other governments to agree an equitable plan to end the extraction and burning of oil, gas and coal by 2030".

Protesters attack Stonehenge

The iconic stones have been daubed with orange powder paint

Just Stop Oil

Protesters defacing Stonehenge

Images from the World Heritage site showed the moment protesters laid siege to the stones

Just Stop Oil

The activist group name-dropped the Labour Party - which they called the "UK's government in waiting" - and its recent manifesto launch which pledged to stop "all future licences for new oil and gas" - but insisted it was "not enough" to prevent the "death of millions" through burning fossil fuels.

Niamh Lynch, 21, a student from Oxford who was one of two who vandalised the historic site, said: "Stonehenge at solstice is all about celebrating the natural world - but look at the state it's in!

"We all have a right to live a life free from suffering, but continued burning of oil, coal and gas is leading to death and suffering on an unparalleled scale.

"It's time for us to think about what our civilisation will leave behind - what is our legacy? Standing inert for generations works well for stones - not climate policy."

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While another protester, 73-year-old Rajan Naidu from Birmingham, said: "Either we end the fossil fuel era, or the fossil fuel era will end us.

"Just as fifty years ago, when the world used international treaties to defuse the threats posed by nuclear weapons, today the world needs a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to phase out fossil fuels and to support dependent economies, workers and communities to move away from oil, gas and coal.

"The orange cornflour we used to create an eye-catching spectacle 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. Sign the treaty!"

Protesters at Stonehenge

The protest took place the day before the Summer Solstice

Just Stop Oil

Reacting to the news, Rishi Sunak said: "This is a disgraceful act of vandalism to one of the UK's and the world's oldest and most important monuments.

"Just Stop Oil should be ashamed of their activists, and they and anyone associated with them, including a certain Labour Party donor, should issue a condemnation of this shameful act immediately."

Wiltshire Police told GB News: "Two people have been arrested on suspicion of damaging Stonehenge after orange paint was sprayed on the ancient monument on Wednesday."

An English Heritage spokesperson told GB News: "Orange powdered paint has been thrown at a number of the stones at Stonehenge. Obviously, this is extremely upsetting and our curators are investigating the extent of the damage. Stonehenge remains open to the public."

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