Climate activists protesting near private jets on tarmac

Climate Activists Target Private Jets in Mistaken Attempt to Protest Taylor Swift

Climate activists from the group Just Stop Oil made headlines on Thursday after breaking into a private airfield in London and spray-painting private jets orange. The activists mistakenly believed that pop star Taylor Swift’s jet was among the planes at the airfield, leading to their arrest for criminal damage and interference with national infrastructure.

Key Takeaways

  • Climate activists from Just Stop Oil targeted private jets at a London airfield.
  • The activists mistakenly believed Taylor Swift’s jet was present at the airfield.
  • Two activists were arrested for criminal damage and interference with national infrastructure.
  • The incident follows a similar protest at Stonehenge by the same group.

The Incident

On Thursday morning, two activists from the environmental group Just Stop Oil broke into a private area of London Stansted Airport. Using a power tool, they cut through a security fence and proceeded to spray-paint two private jets with orange paint. The activists, identified as Jennifer Kowalski, 28, and Cole Macdonald, 22, were arrested shortly after by Essex police.

The activists claimed that Taylor Swift’s private jet was parked at the airfield, a claim that was later denied by both the airport and Essex police. Swift is currently in the UK for her Eras Tour, with upcoming shows at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Background and Motivation

Just Stop Oil is an environmental group advocating for the cessation of oil, coal, and gas extraction and burning by 2030. The group has gained notoriety for its disruptive protests, which have included splashing paint on famous works of art and interrupting traffic to draw attention to global warming.

The activists’ actions at Stansted Airport were part of a broader campaign to highlight the environmental impact of private jets, which they argue contribute significantly to carbon emissions. Taylor Swift has previously faced criticism for her use of private jets, topping a list of celebrities with the highest private-jet carbon emissions in 2022.

Arrest and Legal Consequences

Following their arrest, Kowalski and Macdonald were charged with criminal damage and interference with the use or operation of national infrastructure. The airport confirmed that while runway operations were briefly suspended, no flights were disrupted, and normal operations resumed shortly after the incident.

Previous Protests

The Stansted Airport incident occurred just a day after two other Just Stop Oil activists were detained for spraying orange paint on Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The group has been involved in various high-profile protests across Europe, often drawing both attention and criticism for their methods.

Public Reaction

The public reaction to the incident has been mixed. While some support the activists’ message and their call for urgent action on climate change, others criticize their methods as disruptive and counterproductive. The mistaken targeting of Taylor Swift’s jet has also added a layer of controversy to the protest.


The recent actions by Just Stop Oil highlight the ongoing tension between environmental activism and public order. While the group’s message about the urgent need to address climate change resonates with many, their disruptive tactics continue to spark debate about the most effective ways to achieve environmental goals.


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