This past Wednesday, the day before the infamous summer solstice celebration, United Kingdom’s anti-oil and coal protesters vandalized Stonehenge, the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Since the news and subsequent video footage broke of environmental protesters spraying painting the historic site orange, public outrage has ensued. Footage shows two Just Stop Oil activists with spray paint running towards Stonehenge and, without hesitation, spray painting in every place they can reach.

They are even seen spraying paint onto the blocks despite another person trying to interfere.


The group have since come out and said they only used orange cornflour paint, which will “soon wash away with the rain.”

But, this public display of defiance only makes it increasingly difficult for the site to be more accessible to the public. Prior to 1977, visitors were free to walk within the stone circle. However, this section has remained closed off for the past 46 years due to concerns about damage from the millions of visitors.

On the incident, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the protest group was a “disgrace.” Labour leader Keir Starmer also commented, “The damage done to Stonehenge is outrageous. Just Stop Oil are pathetic.”

The site did remain open for the duration of the day, but the English Heritage have stated, “This is extremely upsetting and our curators are investigating the extent of the damage.”

The two protestors, belonging to Just Stop Oil, have gained prominence in Britain in recent years. You can usually expect disruptive environmental protests from the group, with activists shutting down major roads, disrupting cultural and sporting events, and even throwing soup at a Van Gogh painting.

The mission of the group is to draw attention to the end of burning of oil, gas, and coal by 2030.