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Climate activists arrested for spray-painting private jets orange at London airport

Swifties traveling to Europe for concerts
Taylor Swift fans traveling to Europe for Eras Tour concerts 00:58

Two climate activists were arrested Thursday after cutting through a fence at a London airport and spray-painting private jets orange.

Essex police said two women were arrested in a private area of London Stansted Airport on suspicion of criminal damage and interference with the use or operation of national infrastructure.

Environmental group Just Stop Oil posted video of someone cutting through a security fence followed by a clip of a woman using a fire extinguisher to spray orange paint on at least two private jets.

An airport spokesperson said the incident was three miles from the main terminal and police said there was no threat the public.

Just Stop Oil spray paints planes at Stansted
A view of an aircraft as members of the Just Stop Oil spray paints planes at the Stansted airport, Britain June 20, 2024.   JUST STOP OIL/Handout via REUTERS

The airfield, 30 miles northeast of central London, is the city's third busiest airport and is often used by government officials and visiting world leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden.

Just Stop Oil said the airfield was where Taylor Swift's jet was parked, but Essex police said the pop star's aircraft was not at the airport. Swift is doing three shows at London's Wembley Stadium from Friday through Sunday.

The arrests come a day after two of the group's activists were detained for spraying orange paint on Stonehenge.

Just Stop Oil is one of many environmental groups around Europe that have received attention - and blowback - for disrupting sporting events, splashing paint and food on famous works of art and interrupting traffic to draw attention to global warming.

Swift a focus of protester attention before

Taylor Swift has attracted criticism over her use of private jets.

In 2022, she headlined a list published by British sustainability marketing firm Yard of the "worst private jet CO2 emission offenders" among celebrities.

Her jet flew 170 times in 2022, with total flight emissions for the year reaching 8,293.54 tons, or 1,184.8 times more than the average person, Yard said.

The protest at Stansted Airport came a day after activists sprayed an orange substance on Stonehenge, the prehistoric UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest England.

Just Stop Oil said two activists had "decorated Stonehenge in orange powder paint" in a stunt that was roundly condemned by political leaders and heritage bodies.

Police arrested two people on suspicion of damaging the ancient monument.

AFP contributed to this report.

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