Shropshire Star

Just Stop Oil activists arrested at Stansted after ‘spraying paint over jets’

Essex Police said it detained two women after they gained access to a private area of an airfield and were ‘causing damage to two aircraft’.

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Just Stop Oil Stansted protest

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after appearing to spray orange paint over private jets at Stansted Airport.

Essex Police said it detained two women – named by Just Stop Oil as Jennifer Kowalski, 28, and Cole Macdonald, 22 – after they gained access to a private area of an airfield and were “causing damage to two aircraft”.

The activists entered the airfield and painted two private jets using fire extinguishers filled with orange paint, the environmental group said.

In a post on X, Just Stop Oil said: “Jennifer and Cole cut the fence into the private airfield at Stansted where @taylorswift13’s jet is parked, demanding an emergency treaty to end fossil fuels by 2030.”

The accompanying video shows one of the activists cutting a hole in the airfield’s metal fence using an angle grinder.

Jennifer Kowalski (left), and Cole Macdonald sit on the ground after they sprayed orange paint over parked private jets at London Stansted Airport
Jennifer Kowalski and Cole Macdonald after they sprayed orange paint over parked private jets at London Stansted Airport (Just Stop Oil/PA)

One activist, wearing a Just Stop Oil T-shirt, can then be seen spraying the fuselage and windows of two parked white planes with orange paint, before both then sit together in front of the planes on the tarmac.

Officers were called at around 5am after reports of people gaining access to a private area of an airfield at Stansted Airport, Essex Police said.

Two people had entered an area “well away from the runway and main passenger terminal” before causing damage to two aircraft.

A 22-year-old woman from Brighton and a 28-year-old woman from Dumbarton have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and interference with the use or operation of national infrastructure, the force said.

It added the airport and flights are operating as normal.

Chief superintendent Simon Anslow said: “I would like to reassure passengers and the wider public that we are well prepared and resourced to deal with incidents of this nature.

“Almost immediately after we were made aware of this incident, which took place away from the main passenger terminal, we were on the scene.

Just Stop Oil Stansted protest
The activists appeared to cut a hole in the airport’s metal fencing (Just Stop Oil/PA)

“We maintain a constant presence at the airport and this presence will be heightened over the summer period.

“We are not anti protest but we will always take action where criminal acts take place.”

Essex Police confirmed the private jet of pop star Taylor Swift, which Just Stop Oil said had landed at Stansted “mere hours before”, was not at the airport.

Macdonald, from Brighton, said: “We’re living in two worlds: one where billionaires live in luxury, able to fly in private jets away from the other, where unliveable conditions are being imposed on countless millions.

“Meanwhile, this system that is allowing extreme wealth to be accrued by a few, to the detriment of everyone else, is destroying the conditions necessary to support human life in a rapidly accelerating never-ending ‘cruel summer’.

“Billionaires are not untouchable, climate breakdown will affect every single one of us.”

Kowalski, former sustainability manager from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, said: “Over the years, I’ve had to realise that even working in sustainability provides me with essentially no ability to make the necessary changes to prevent the complete collapse of our natural systems. I have to take desperate measures to make my voice heard.

“In 2024 we all have to be considering what we can do each day to change the course our society is on. We need an emergency treaty to stop the extraction and burning of oil, gas and coal by 2030.”

The group’s latest protest comes after two Just Stop Oil activists sprayed orange paint on the prehistoric Stonehenge monument on Wednesday.

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