Two arrested after Just Stop Oil activists target Stonehenge with orange powder paint

Two arrested after Just Stop Oil activists target Stonehenge with orange powder paint

TWO people have been arrested after activists from Just Stop Oil targeted Stonehenge with orange powder paint.

The incident unfolded at around 12pm at the 5,000-year-old monument in Wiltshire, England as a man and woman sprayed several stones on the eve of tomorrow's summer solstice.

In a statement, Just Stop Oil said the protest was aimed at getting the next British government to end the use of fossil fuels, with the group promising further action around the world this summer.

However, both current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer have strongly criticised the organisation.

'We risk everything'

Just Stop Oil named the two activists as 21-year-old student Niamh Lynch from Oxford and Rajan Naidu, 73, from Birmingham.

Footage of the incident shared by the group appeared to show the pair spraying orange powder paint from extinguishers before people attempted to stop them.

The pair then remained at the monument before subsequent footage showed them being led away by police officers.

Just Stop Oil said the activists 'decorated Stonehenge' with orange cornflour that would wash away in order to pressure the government to end the use of fossil fuels.

"Continuing to burn coal, oil and gas will result in the death of millions," said a Just Stop Oil spokesperson.

"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."

Promising further action, they warned: "Failure to commit to defending our communities will mean Just Stop Oil supporters, along with citizens from Austria, Canada, Norway, the Netherlands and Switzerland will join in resistance this summer, if their own governments do not take meaningful action."

The statement said that Just Stop Oil would work with other groups around the globe to take 'proportional action' to pressure governments.

It added that over the summer, 'areas of key importance to the fossil fuel economy will be declared sites of civil resistance around the world'.


Responding to the protest, Mr Sunak labelled the group 'a disgrace', while Mr Starmer said: "The damage done to Stonehenge is outrageous. Just Stop Oil are pathetic."

Around 10,000 people mark the summer solstice every year by gathering at Stonehenge to watch the sunset on June 20 and the following morning's sunrise.

A similar number is expected to descend on the site tomorrow evening in preparation for welcoming in the longest day of the year and marking the start of summer.

English Heritage, which manages the monument, said the site would remain open but expressed its disappointment with Just Stop Oil.

"Orange powdered paint has been thrown at a number of the stones at Stonehenge," read a statement.

"Obviously, this is extremely upsetting and our curators are investigating the extent of the damage."

Confirming they had made two arrests, Wiltshire Police said enquiries were ongoing and they were working closely with English Heritage.