Two climate activists arrested after spraying orange paint on Stonehenge: NPR

In this handout photo, Just Stop Oil protesters sit after spraying an orange substance at Stonehenge, in Salisbury, England, on Wednesday. (Just put oil through AP)

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Two climate activists have been arrested at Stonehenge in England after spraying orange paint on the famous historic landmark.

The Just Stop Oil group took the honors for Wednesday's action, which they said was a call for Britain to end the use of fossil fuels by 2030.

“Continuing to burn coal, oil and gas will result in the deaths of millions of people. We must come together to defend humanity or we risk everything,” said Just Stop Oil said in a press release.

The group said the orange cornstarch used on the monument would wash away in the rain.

The two activists responsible were identified as Oxford University student Niamh Lynch, 21, and Birmingham resident Rajan Naidu, 73.

Wiltshire Police confirmed that officers arrested two people on suspicion of damaging Stonehenge.

The action took place just one day before the summer solstice – the longest day of the year – when thousands of people are expected to descend on the historic monument.

English Heritage, the group that manages Stonehenge, said in a message on X that the site remains open. It called the incident “extremely disturbing” and said its administrators were assessing the extent of any damage.

In its press release, Just Stop Oil said it would not be enough for Britain to halt future oil and gas licensing, but urged the government to sign a legally binding treaty banning the country from oil, gas and coal to be mined and burned by the year 2030.

British political leaders were quick to condemn the demonstration.

In a post on X, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said said: “Just Stop Oil is a disgrace.”

Labor leader Keir Starmer, who is running against Sunak in the upcoming elections, saidthe damage to Stonehenge was 'scandalous'. Starmer called Just Stop Oil “pathetic” and said those responsible for the action “must face the full force of the law.”

It is the latest public protest initiated by activists from Just Stop Oil, whose members have also done so interrupted tennis matches at Wimbledon, disturbed the London Pride Parade and defaced classic works of art.

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