Two Protesters Arrested as Demonstrators Destroy Magna Carta Affair

Two Just Stop Oil protesters have been arrested after breaking up the Magna Carta case at the British Library.

The Reverend Sue Parfitt, 82, and Judy Bruce, 85, a retired biology teacher, targeted the glass enclosure around the historic document on Friday.

The two men then held up a sign reading “The government is breaking the law” before sticking to the screen, images published online.

The British Library said security had “intervened to prevent further damage”.

The Metropolitan Police said two people were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

The British Library said damage to the case, which was caused around 10.40am BST, was “minimal” and police said the document itself was not damaged.

Reverend Parfitt, who held a chisel while Ms Bruce used a hammer, said: “Magna Carta is rightly revered because it is of great importance to our history, to our freedoms and to our laws.

“But there will be no freedom, no legality, no rights if we let climate change become the catastrophe that is threatened today.”

She added: “We have to make things proportionate. The abundance of life on earth, the climatic stability that allows civilization to continue are what must be revered and protected above all else, even by above our most precious objects.”

What was Magna Carta?

Opening of the Magna Carta bookOpening of the Magna Carta book

(Getty Images)

  • The Magna Carta defined fundamental rights according to the principle that no one is above the law, including the king.

  • It defines the right to a fair trial and the limits of imposition without representation

  • It inspired a number of other documents, including the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • Only three clauses are still valid: that guaranteeing the liberties of the English Church; the clause confirming the privileges of the city of London and other cities; and the clause which states that no free man shall be imprisoned without the lawful judgment of his equals.

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