Clean up underway after Just Stop Oil protesters spray University of Oxford building with paint

A clean up operation is underway after Just Stop Oil protesters sprayed orange paint over the University of Oxford's iconic Radcliffe Camera building.

A video posted on the group's social media pages, shows two people using cans of orange paint, spraying the bricks and window frames.

The students, armed with buckets of paint and spray cans targeted buildings at Oxford and Exeter universities at around midday on Tuesday, (10 October) in what the group describes as "resistance against the UK Government’s plans to licence new oil and gas projects."

A spokesperson for the climate activist group said: "2 students have just sprayed the Radcliffe Camera building at the University of Oxford in an act of civil resistance.

"Students are demanding that university leaders make a public statement calling on the government to end new oil and gas projects, and make a commitment to join their students in marching on the streets of London, if the government fails to respond."

  • A clean up operation is underway to clear the paint from the building

The Radcliffe Camera is an iconic Oxford landmark and is also a working library.

The building which is recognisable with its tube shaped brick work forms part of the central Bodleian Library complex.

The Radcliffe Camera is also home to the History Faculty Library.

A spokesperson at the University of Oxford said: "One of Oxford’s library buildings, the Radcliffe Camera, was vandalised with orange spray paint during a Just Stop Oil protest today.

"The University does not support illegal action, including any unlawful protesting, and may, within its powers, take any steps it considers appropriate against any student guilty of such behaviour. Access to the library has been temporarily redirected and steps are under way to remove the paint."

  • People at the University of Oxford have been reacting to the incident.

A spokesperson for the Bodleian Library said: "Earlier today, the Radcliffe Camera was defaced with spray paint, during a Just Stop Oil protest.

"As a result, library access was temporarily redirected to avoid the damaged parts of the building.

"Our priority at this time remains ensuring that readers have access to our collections, removing the paint and restoring the building to its previous state."

The Forum, at the University of Exeter sits at the heart of the university's Streatham Campus.

According to the university it comprises of a variety of indoor and outdoor venue spaces and is frequently used by students and staff.

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said: "At around 12.25pm today (10/10) we received reports of criminal damage on Radcliffe Square.

"Officers attended the scene and are investigating the incident.

"A 21-year-old man from Oxford and a 18-year-old man from Norwich have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. They remain in police custody at this time.

"Anyone with information or footage of the incident, should call 101 quoting 43230455494."

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber described the incident as 'deplorable'.

Posting on X he said: "These acts of mindless vandalism are deplorable.

"Protest is vitally important to our democracy, but this isn’t protest, it is simply criminal damage and I think such tactics have long ago stopped persuading anyone and instead alienate the majority."

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