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Video shows climate protesters spraying paint on Stonehenge monument – ​​​​NBC Chicago

Two climate protesters who sprayed orange paint on the ancient Stonehenge monument in southern England were arrested on Wednesday after two bystanders appeared to intervene and stop them.

The latest act from Just Stop Oil was quickly condemned by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as a ‘disgraceful act of vandalism’. Labor leader Keir Starmer, his main opponent in next month’s election, called the group “pathetic” and said the damage was “disgraceful”.

The incident occurred just a day before thousands of people are expected to gather at the approximately 4,500-year-old stone circle to celebrate the summer solstice – the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

English Heritage, which manages the site, said it was “extremely disturbing” and said curators were investigating the damage. Just Stop Oil said the paint was made from corn starch and would dissolve in the rain.

Video released by the group showed a man identified as Rajan Naidu, 73, releasing an orange mist from a fire extinguisher-style sprayer on one of the vertical stones.

As voices can be heard shouting ‘stop’, a person wearing a cap and raincoat ran forward, grabbed Naidu’s arm and tried to pull him away from the monument. A man in a blue shirt intervened and wrestled the paint sprayer away.

The second protester, identified as Niamh Lynch, 21, managed to spray three bricks before the first bystander in the hat stopped her.

Wiltshire Police said the pair were arrested on suspicion of damaging one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stonehenge was built in stages on the flat land of the Salisbury Plain 5,000 years ago, with the unique stone circle built in the late Neolithic period, about 2500 BC.

Just Stop Oil is one of several environmental groups in Europe that have received attention – and backlash – for disrupting sporting events, splashing paint and food on famous works of art and interrupting traffic to draw attention to global warming. soil.

The group says it acted in response to the Labor Party’s recent election manifesto. Labor has said that if it wins the July 4 election it will not issue any further oil and gas exploration permits. Just Stop Oil supports the moratorium, but says it is not enough.

In a statement, the group said Labor, which is leading in the polls and widely expected by experts and politicians to lead the next government, should go further and sign a treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030.

“Continuing to burn coal, oil and gas will kill millions,” the group said in a statement.

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