Just Stop Oil activists arrested as they cover Parliament Square in orange paint

10 July 2024, 16:20 | Updated: 10 July 2024, 16:54

Four activists were arrested in Parliament Square this morning.
Four activists were arrested in Parliament Square this morning. Picture: Just Stop Oil

By Henry Moore

Just Stop Oil activists have painted Parliament Square orange in their latest environmental protest.

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The eco protestors halted traffic at around 8:30am this morning they poured bright orange paint from suitcases across the busy central London square.

The four activists involved, one of which was a 69-year-old NHS nurse, were arrested on the scene.

Sheila Shatford from Bristol, said: “Just Stop Oil has won their demand for no new oil and gas, however this is not enough.

“Now we must demand internationally coordinated action to phase out fossil fuels. Labour must commit to cancelling all oil and gas licences granted by the Tories in their final arson spree before they left office.”

“To our new government: we have put our trust in you to keep us safe. It’s time to work with other countries to sign an international, legally binding treaty to end the extraction and burning of oil, gas and coal by 2030. Oil Kills. It’s time to protect our country and our communities. Sign the treaty!”

This action comes after the new Labour government committed to ending new oil and gas licenses, the central demand of Just Stop Oil.

Read More: 27 Just Stop Oil activists arrested in coordinated raid after group threatened to disrupt summer holidays

Read More: Just Stop Oil ‘key’ organisers arrested by Met Police ahead of plans to disrupt airports over summer

Deborah Wilde, 68, who was also arrested on the scene, said: “We appreciate the new governments’ commitment to ending new oil and gas, but there is already enough carbon in the atmosphere to wreak havoc to our society and economy in the coming years.

“Labour must cancel all fossil fuel licences green-lit by the Tories and sign the fossil fuel treaty to end burning of oil, gas and coal by 2030.”

This comes just weeks after Just Stop Oil made headlines for dousing Stonehenge in cornstarch-based orange paint.

Explaining why they chose to target Stonehenge, the group said: "Stone circles can be found in every part of Europe showing how we’ve always cooperated across vast distances – we’re building on that legacy.”

English Heritage describes Stonehenge as perhaps the world's most famous prehistoric monument.

A spokeswoman for English Heritage described the spraying of paint at the Stonehenge stones as "extremely upsetting".

She said: "Orange powdered paint has been thrown at a number of the stones at Stonehenge.

"Obviously, this is extremely upsetting and our curators are investigating the extent of the damage. Stonehenge remains open to the public."

The group sprayed two of the Stonehenge monoliths with orange paint.
The group sprayed two of the Stonehenge monoliths with orange paint. Picture: Just Stop Oil

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer both condemned the vandalism.

PM Sir Keir said: "The damage done to Stonehenge is outrageous. Just Stop Oil are pathetic. Those responsible must face the full force of the law."

While outgoing Tory leader Rishi Sunak added: "This is a disgraceful act of vandalism to one of the UK’s and the world’s oldest and most important monuments.”

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