2 Climate Activists Arrested After Defacing Ancient Stonehenge Monument

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In what could only be described as a brazen act of environmental protest, two climate activists were arrested on Wednesday after spraying orange powder paint onto the iconic Stonehenge monument in Wiltshire, England. The incident, which occurred just a day before the summer solstice celebrations at the prehistoric site, has drawn widespread condemnation from authorities and cultural heritage organizations.

The activist group Just Stop Oil claimed responsibility for the action, identifying the two individuals involved as 21-year-old Niamh Lynch, a student at the University of Oxford, and 73-year-old Rajan Naidu from Birmingham.

According to the group’s statement, the use of orange cornflour paint was intended to create a visually striking spectacle to draw attention to their demand for the UK government to halt all fossil fuel extraction and burning by 2030.

Wiltshire Police confirmed the arrests, stating that officers responded to reports of paint being sprayed on some of the ancient stones at around noon. The two suspects were apprehended on suspicion of damaging the historic monument, with investigations ongoing.

English Heritage, the organization responsible for managing Stonehenge, expressed dismay at the incident, describing it as “extremely upsetting.”

Curators are currently assessing the extent of the damage caused by the orange powder paint. Despite the disruption, the monument remains open to the public.

The audacious protest has sparked outrage among political leaders and cultural figures alike. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the action as “a disgraceful act of vandalism” against one of the world’s most significant historical sites. Opposition leader Keir Starmer also criticized the activists, labeling their actions as “outrageous” and calling for them to face the “full force of the law.”

Just Stop Oil is known for its attention-grabbing protests that target cultural institutions and sporting events. They maintain that drastic measures are necessary to combat the climate crisis. However, their tactics have drawn criticism from those who argue that defacing ancient monuments is counterproductive and only serves to alienate potential supporters.