The 2-page handout

The reading

Two climate activists have tried to damage one of the world's oldest and most famous documents – the Magna Carta. The women are both in their 80s. They went to the British Library in London and attacked the glass case that contained the Magna Carta. The women used a hammer and a chisel to try to break the glass. Police have charged the women with criminal damage. The British Library said its security staff, "intervened, to prevent further damage to the case". It added that the "Magna Carta itself remains undamaged". The women are from the Just Stop Oil protest group. They held up a sign that read: "The government is breaking the law." The women also glued themselves to the case.

The Magna Carta is a royal charter that was agreed to by King John of England on the 15th of June 1215. It stated that everyone was equal under the law. It also guaranteed that everyone should have a fair trial, with a jury. Historians say the Magna Carta was the foundation for the development of Western democracy. In particular, it influenced the U.S. Constitution. The two protestors said: "The Magna Carta is…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." They added: "Our government is breaking its own laws against climate change."



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