Feature

Just Stop Oil activists sprayed Stonehenge with orange cornflour

25 july, 2024

The action, tied to the upcoming elections in the UK, aims to draw politicians' attention to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Just Stop Oil action with Niam Lynch and Rajan Naidu at Stonehenge, the UK, 2024. Screenshot from video. Source: juststopoil.org
Two protesters from the Just Stop Oil organization sprayed Britain's Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with orange cornflour. Bystanders tried to intervene during the action. The protest took place a day before the summer solstice when thousands gathered at Stonehenge to celebrate the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, ARTnews reports.

The activists, 21-year-old Oxford student Niam Lynch and 73-year-old Birmingham resident Rajan Naidu, were arrested. Just Stop Oil stated that their gesture aims to draw the next UK government's attention to the necessity of signing the treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030. The next general elections in the UK are scheduled for July 4, 2024.

"Either we end the fossil fuel era, or the fossil fuel era will end us,” Naidu said. “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," said Naidu. He also emphasized that the performance used a corn flour-based dye that can be easily washed off with water.
Rajan Naidu and Niam Lynch at Stonehenge, the UK, 2024. Source: juststopoil.org
The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the action a “disgraceful act of vandalism," while Labour Party leader and Sunak's main electoral rival, Keir Starmer, labeled Just Stop Oil "pathetic." The organization English Heritage, which manages Stonehenge, announced an investigation into potential damage to the monument. Archaeologist and Stonehenge expert Michael Pitts explained that the megaliths "are sensitive and they are completely covered in prehistoric markings which remain to be fully studied and any surface damage to the stones is hugely concerning."
 

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