Just Stop Oil protesters use hammer to smash Magna Carta display case

Judy Bruce, 85, and Reverend Dr Sue Parfitt, 82, tried to smash the glass surrounding the Magna Carta at the British Library

Two Just Stop Oil protesters, who are both in their 80s, smashed the glass around the Magna Carta at the British Library on Friday.

Footage posted on social media shows Reverend Sue Parfitt, 82, and Judy Bruce, 85, a retired biology teacher, using a hammer and chisel to attempt to break open the protective enclosure around the historic document.

The pair then held up a sign reading: “The Government is breaking the law” before gluing themselves to the display.

Rev Parfitt said: “The Magna Carta is rightly revered, being of great importance to our history, to our freedoms and to our laws. But there will be no freedom, no lawfulness, no rights, if we allow climate breakdown to become the catastrophe that is now threatened.”

Ms Bruce said: “This week 400 respected scientists - contributors to IPCC reports, are saying we are ‘woefully unprepared’ for what’s coming: 2.5 or more degrees of heating above pre industrial levels.

“Instead of acting, our dysfunctional Government is like the three monkeys: ‘see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing- pretend we’ve got 25 years.. we haven’t!

“We must get off our addiction to oil and gas by 2030 – starting now.”

The British Library in London holds two of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, with the others being held at Lincoln and Salisbury Cathedrals.

It was issued in June 1215 and was the first document to put into writing the principle that the King and his government were not above the law.

The Metropolitan Police told ITV News in a statement: "Police were called to the British Library to reports of Just Stop Oil activists trying to damage the Magna Carta.

"Officers arrested two people on suspicion of criminal damage, both of which are currently in custody. The damage caused was to the protective case and not the exhibit itself."

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