Just Stop Oil Stonehenge Protest depicting the two protestors who painted the rocks with orange paint.

Just Stop Oil Stonehenge Protest

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Updated Jun 21, 2024 at 02:33PM EDT by Zach.

Added Jun 21, 2024 at 10:51AM EDT by sakshi.

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Overview

Just Stop Oil Stonehenge Protest refers to Just Stop Oil (JSO) climate activists spraying water-soluble orange cornstarch paint on England's neolithic Stonehenge monument. The incident took place in late June 2024 as part of a series of demonstrations by Just Stop Oil activists in which they threw paint or attempted to damage famous art and monuments as a means of drawing attention to Earth's climate crisis. The demonstration at Stonehenge garnered significant press coverage around the world, drawing backlash from many who disagreed with JSO's actions, while some supported the move for drawing attention to climate change.

Background

On June 19th, 2024, two Just Stop Oil activists used fire extinguishers to spray orange cornstarch onto England's Stonehenge monument. They can be seen spraying the rocks even as bystanders attempt to pull them away in a video posted by Just Stop Oil's official X[1] account on the same date, gathering over 10 million views and 4,000 likes in two days (seen below).


Online Reactions

News about Just Stop Oil's Stonehenge action was shared to the subreddits /r/UnitedKingdom[2] and /r/WitchesVsPatriarchy[3] on June 19th, 2024, in posts that gathered over 3,000 and 1,000 likes, respectively, in two days.

The action was criticized strongly by many U.K. politicians and organizations, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who called the demonstration a "disgraceful act of vandalism," and Labour MP Kier Starmer[4] who called it "outrageous" (seen below).


Keir Starmer @Keir_Starmer The damage done to Stonehenge is outrageous. Just Stop Oil are pathetic. Those responsible must face the full force of the law. 9:32 AM Jun 19, 2024 • 16.8M Views • ...

Some X users accused Just Stop Oil of being a psyop intended to turn public opinion against climate activism, with X user @CountDankulaTV's[5] post on June 19th gathering over 190,000 likes in two days (seen below).


Count Dankula @CountDankulaTV Just Stop Oil are 100% a psyop funded by Big Oil to turn the entire public against climate activism. TALK Talk @TalkTV ⚫ Jun 19 Two Just Stop Oil activists have desecrated Stonehenge with orange powder paint. TALK 0:39 8:07 AM ⚫ Jun 19, 2024 6.7M Views Credit: Just Stop Oil

Other internet users had more favorable reactions to the protest, with many pointing out that the activists used non-permanent paint and that Just Stop Oil had a reputation for conducting demonstrations that only seemed to damage public goods without actually doing so.[6]

On June 19th, 2024, X[7] user @SeaSpitfires posted a thread discussing Stonehenge's history, explaining that while Just Stop Oil's demonstration may be upsetting to some, it will supposedly have no longstanding impact on the monument's longevity.


Stephen Fisher @SeaSpitfires ... This is not an attempt to justify what happened at Stonehenge today, or even to change anyone's mind about it. I'd simply like to add some context that I feel has been missing from some reports, statements and tweets. 6:36 PM ⚫ Jun 19, 2024 4.5M Views JUST STO Stephen Fisher @SeaSpitfires • Jun 19 .. accessible. As a result few lichens survive below head height because people were touching the stones. Indeed the lichens will suffer far more damage tomorrow night as thousands of festival goers press themselves into the circle. 7 17271 4.6K ılı 428K Stephen Fisher @SeaSpitfires • Jun 19 I'm not interested in the politics of the incident, but I'm faintly amused by the outcry as if this sort of protest-vandalism has never happened at Stonehenge before. It has, more often than you might think. THE 100 t 1.6K 13K Ill 582K

X[8] user @terryfuck45 posted a joke equating the Stonehenge incident to "fifteen 9/11s," while X[9] user @anyamrch joked about Just Stop Oil activists in Eastern Europe being more extreme with their demonstrations (referencing actions during the ongoing war with Russia) than the ones in the West (seen below).


anya @anyamrch Jun 19, 2024 virgin western stop oil activist - glues hand to road. loses hand - laughing stock chad Ukrainian stop oil activist - interrupts sporting events destroys paintings - blocks traffic - ineffective - counterproductive Just Stop Oil @JustStop Oil • Jun 19 - doesn't actually stop oil - bombs refinery OUCH! - bombs another refinery - bombs more refineries - actually stops oil 0:44 BREAKING: Just Stop Oil Spray Stonehenge Orange 2 people took action the day before Summer Solstice, demanding the incoming government sign up to a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by ... Terry F--- @terryfuck45 When the cornflour hit Stonehenge it was like fifteen 9/11s. 2:39 AM Jun 20, 2024 168.3K Views Follow

Search Interest

External References

[1] X – JustStop_Oil

[2] Reddit – unitedkingdom

[3] Reddit – WitchesVsPatriarchy

[4] X – Keir_Starmer

[5] X – CountDankulaTV

[6]  X – PunishedHoots

[7] X – SeaSpitfires

[8] X – terryfuck45

[9] X – anyamrch

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