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Climate activists attack case holding the original Magna Carta in London

Two climate activists targeted the original text of the Magna Carta at the British Library in London during a protest calling for the end of fossil fuels.

Two environmental activists targeted the original Magna Carta in the United Kingdom during a protest seeking to raise awareness of climate change.

Rev. Sue Parfitt, 82, and Judy Bruce, 85, a retired biology teacher, were both arrested after they attacked a glass case containing the historical document at the British Library in London on Friday, London's Metropolitan Police said.

A video of the incident showed the pair of protesters from Just Stop Oil, an environmental group based in Britain, using a hammer and a chisel to hit the case, causing minor damage. The Magna Carta was unscathed.

"The Magna Carta is rightly revered, being of great importance to our history, to our freedoms and to our laws,'' the duo said in a statement after their protest. "But there will be no freedom, no lawfulness, no rights, if we allow climate breakdown to become the catastrophe that is now threatened."

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The duo and their group are seeking to end the world's reliance on fossil fuels.

"This famous document is about the rule of law and standing up against the abuse of power," Bruce can be heard saying during their demonstration. "Our government is breaking its own laws against climate change."

In the video, Parfitt added: "As a Christian, I am compelled to do all that I can to alleviate the appalling suffering that's coming down the line and is here already. Whatever it takes, whatever it costs. So we must just stop oil."

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The library's security team intervened and disrupted the demonstration, preventing further damage to the case.

The library said the Treasures Gallery would be closed until further notice.

The Magna Carta is a 13th century English treaty which established that nobody was above the law. It is considered one of the founding documents of Western democracy.

There are only four original texts of the document: Two of them are kept in the British Library, one is in Salisbury Cathedral and the other is held in Lincoln Castle.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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