Eco-protesters arrested after trying but failing to damage Taylor Swift's plane in VIP airfield stunt

20 June 2024, 07:10 | Updated: 20 June 2024, 12:48

Two Just Stop Oil activists sprayed private planes at airfield hours 'after Taylor Swifts' jet arrived
Two Just Stop Oil activists sprayed private planes at airfield hours 'after Taylor Swifts' jet arrived. Picture: Just Stop Oil

By Jenny Medlicott

Just Stop Oil protesters have sprayed jets at a London airfield where they claimed Taylor Swift's jet had landed earlier.

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Two protesters entered a private airfield at Stansted Airport at around 5am on Thursday, painting two jets using fire extinguishers filled with orange paint.

They said they were targeting the singer's aircraft which they claimed had landed hours earlier but it later emerged it was not there.

Two activists were later arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and interference with the use or operation of national infrastructure.

The attack is the latest stunt by the eco-protesters and comes the day after protesters sparked fury by desecrated Stonehenge with orange paint.

Video posted from Stansted shows the two people brazenly cutting through a wire fence at the perimeter of the airfield and crawling under to gain access.

The two protesters Jennifer Kowalski, 28, and Cole Macdonald, 22, then proceed to spray paint a series of jets before sitting in front of their vandalism and embracing smugly in a hug.

In a statement Essex Police said: "Officers have responded quickly and made two arrests following reports of people gaining access to a private area of an airfield at Stansted Airport.

"We were called shortly before 5.10am today (Thursday 20 June) .It was reported two people had gained access to an area well away from the runway and main passenger terminal, before causing damage to two aircraft.

"Officers were on the scene within minutes and detained two people.

"The airport and flights are operating as normal.

"A 22-year-old woman from Brighton, and a 28-year-old woman from Dumbarton, have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and interference with the use or operation of national infrastructure."

Chief Superintendent Simon Anslow said: “I would like to reassure passengers and the wider public that we are well prepared and resourced to deal with incidents of this nature.

“Almost immediately after we were made aware of this incident, which took place away from the main passenger terminal, we were on the scene.

“We maintain a constant presence at the airport and this presence will be heightened over the summer period.

“We have a good working relationship with Manchester Airport Group and Stansted Airport to ensure you can go about your travels with minimal impact.“We are not anti protest but we will always take action where criminal acts take place.”

Stansted Airport said in a statement: "Shortly after 5am, Essex Police arrested two protestors who had entered the private aviation area of the airfield, away from the runway and main passenger terminal.

"As a precaution, runway operations were suspended for a short period, but no flights were disrupted, and the airport and flights are operating as normal."

Taylor Swift is performing at Wembley Arena this weekend, after already touring in the UK across Edinburgh, Liverpool and Cardiff this month.

An activist spraying a jet at Stansted
An activist spraying a jet at Stansted. Picture: Just Stop Oil

Read more: Moment hero tourists grab Just Stop Oil spraying paint on Stonehenge, as activists 'damage rare lichen'

It comes after the protest group targeted Stonehenge on Wednesday as they sprayed the historic site with containers of a substance described as orange powder paint.

A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said: “The UK’s government in waiting has committed to enacting Just Stop Oil’s original demand of ‘no new oil and gas’.

"However, we all know this is not enough. Continuing to burn coal, oil and gas will result in the death of millions.

"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."

Wiltshire police said two people had been arrested.

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