Two Just Stop Oil protesters attack Magna Carta’s glass case | Just Stop Oil

Two Just Stop Oil protesters have smashed the glass around Magna Carta at the British Library.

The Rev Sue Parfitt, 82, and Judy Bruce, 85, a retired biology teacher, targeted the protective enclosure with a hammer and chisel on Friday morning.

Just Stop Oil said the pair then held up a sign reading “The government is breaking the law” and glued themselves to the display.

The Metropolitan police said two people had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and were in custody.

The two women used a hammer and chisel. Photograph: Just Stop Oil/Reuters

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.

“We must get things in proportion. The abundance of life on Earth, the climate stability that allows civilisation to continue, is what must be revered and protected above all else, even above our most precious artefacts.”

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.”

Bruce was referring to a Guardian survey published on Wednesday that showed hundreds of leading climate scientists expect global temperatures to rise to at least 2.5C (4.5F) above pre-industrial levels this century.

Almost 80% of the respondents, all from the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), foresee at least 2.5C of global heating, and almost half anticipate at least 3C (5.4F). Only 6% thought the internationally agreed 1.5C (2.7F) limit would be achieved.

The Guardian approached every contactable lead author or review editor of IPCC reports since 2018. Almost half replied – 380 out of 843. The IPCC’s reports are the gold-standard assessments of climate change, approved by all governments and produced by experts in physical and social sciences.

Numerous experts said in the survey that they had been left feeling hopeless, infuriated and scared by the failure of governments to act despite the clear scientific evidence provided.

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