Three arrested after Stone of Destiny was targeted in protest of food poverty

Three people were arrested after activists targeted the Stone of Destiny at Edinburgh Castle in a protest against food poverty.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) said there was some damage to the protective glass housing the stone.

The Crown Room and Royal Apartments at the castle were closed after the incident, which happened just before 11am on Wednesday at the Crown Room.

Activists claimed they had spray-painted the words “Is Treasa Tuath Na Tighearna” – Gaelic for “The People are Mightier Than A Lord” – on the glass, next to the logo of protest group This is Rigged.

The group said the incident echoed the story of the Stone of Destiny, which was repatriated from Westminster Abbey in Scotland by a group of University of Glasgow students 700 years after the stone was stolen in the Wars of Independence.

Police Scotland said two women, aged 20 and 24, and a 20-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the incident on Wednesday.

This is Rigged who issued two demands – that supermarkets cut the prices of baby products by a quarter and that the Scottish Government fully funds one community food hub per 500 households, providing three meals a day to anyone who needs them.

He mentioned the right to food, which is part of the International Covenant on Social, Cultural and Economic Rights, part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In a statement, the group said: “Food is a human right. Hunger is a political choice. The times we live in are defined by crisis, by instability, by greed.

“We are already facing a crisis in every basic human need – shelter, energy and food – leaving us massively unprepared and under-resourced for the effects of climate collapse.

“Food is revolutionary – community is a necessity. When our crops fail, our water sources dry up and the land we live on is decimated, the real revolutionary is taking collective responsibility and standing with each other.”

The stone is listed as part of the wider Honors which include the Crown of Scotland and other regalia and are displayed together at the castle in the same case.

A HES spokesman said there was a “minor disturbance” in the Crown Room and police were called to the scene.

The spokesperson added: “There was some damage to the protective glass housing the Honors, however the casing was not breached and the Honors themselves were not damaged.

“The castle remains open, however we have temporarily closed the Crown Room and Royal Apartments.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “At around 10.45am. on Wednesday, we were called to a report of a small protest inside Edinburgh Castle.

“Officers attended and two women aged 20 and 24 and a 20-year-old man were arrested for damage caused.

“Investigations are ongoing.”