Environmentalists attack a case holding a copy of the Magna Carta in London but document unscathed

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In this photo provided by Just Stop Oil on Friday, May 10, 2024, two activist Judy Bruce, a retired biology teacher and Reverend Sue Parfitt, foreground as they target the protective enclosure around the historic Magna Carta document with a hammer at the British Library, in London. Two environmental activists have attacked a glass case containing an original copy of the Magna Carta at the British Library. Minor damage was caused to the reinforced box but the historic document was unscathed. (Just Stop Oil via AP)

LONDON – Two environmental activists attacked a glass case containing an original copy of the Magna Carta at the British Library on Friday, causing minor damage to the reinforced box but leaving the historic document unscathed.

The pair of protesters from Just Stop Oil, a group that has caused widespread disruption in Britain in its campaign to end to the world's reliance on fossil fuels, pounded on the case with a hammer and chisel.

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The Rev. Sue Parfitt, 82, and Judy Bruce, 85, a retired biology teacher, released a statement saying that they targeted the document to highlight the dangers of climate change.

“The Magna Carta is rightly revered, being of great importance to our history, to our freedoms and to our laws,'' Parfitt said. ”But there will be no freedom, no lawfulness, no rights, if we allow climate breakdown to become the catastrophe that is now threatened.”

London's Metropolitan Police said that two people were arrested.

The library's security team intervened to prevent further damage to the case surrounding the Magna Carta, which is considered one of the founding documents of Western democracy.

The Treasures Gallery is temporarily closed until further notice, the library said.

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