Extinction Rebellion defends right to peaceful protest in legal challenge to the police blanket ban on Extinction Rebellion protests in High Court
October 23, 2019 by Extinction Rebellion
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- Extinction Rebellion defends the long established right to peaceful protest in High Court hearing this Thursday.
- Claimants, lawyers and Extinction Rebellion supporters will be outside the Royal Courts of Justice at around 10am before the day’s hearing begins at 10.30am.
- Baroness Jenny Jones, Caroline Lucas MP, Clive Lewis MP, David Drew MP, Ellie Chowns MEP, Adam Allnut and George Monbiot are bringing the judicial review on behalf of Extinction Rebellion to challenge the Police’s decision to ban all XR protests across the whole of London for most of last week.
- If the Court finds in Extinction Rebellion’s favour, it will reestablish the right to peaceful protest and render unlawful the arrests of hundreds of protesters detained under the blanket ban.
Extinction Rebellion’s legal challenge to the Metropolitan police’s blanket ban on Extinction Rebellion protests is scheduled for an urgent hearing in the High Court this Thursday 24 October from 10.30am.
Baroness Jenny Jones, Caroline Lucas MP, Clive Lewis MP, David Drew MP, Ellie Chowns MEP, Adam Allnut and George Monbiot are bringing the judicial review on behalf of Extinction Rebellion to challenge the Police’s decision to ban all XR protests across the whole of London for most of last week.
Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party, said: “The police use of a Section 14 order to ban all Extinction Rebellion protests across the whole of London was a huge over-reach of police powers. This power is there to help the police manage protests, not shut them down altogether. Extinction Rebellion are carrying a message we all need to hear. They won’t be silenced by a police crackdown, nor should they be in a free democratic society.
Clive Lewis MP, the Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for Sustainable Economics, said: “Extinction Rebellion is sounding the alarm about the climate and ecological emergency. Rather than trying to block our ears by shutting down their protests, we should be reacting to the danger they’re alerting us to. Averting that danger requires urgent and radical change, not the criminalisation of peaceful protest.”
Tobias Garnett, a human rights lawyer in Extinction Rebellion’s Legal Strategy team, said: “The ban is an unprecedented and disproportionate curtailment of the right to protest, which risks criminalising those who want to call attention to the Climate and Ecological Emergency. Rather than wasting its time and money on attempts to silence protest, the Government should focus on meaningful action against the biggest threat we face”.
The blanket ban was implemented under Section 14 of the Public Order Act at 9pm on Monday 14 October and lasted until 6pm on Friday 18th October. In the meantime, according to Met Police figures, over 400 Extinction Rebellion activists were arrested.
Extinction Rebellion hopes that the two senior judges who will rule on the case after the day-long hearing will quash the police’s decision as unlawful.
Lawyers will be pushing for a judgment as soon as possible and expect it within a fortnight after Thursday’s hearing. If the Court finds in Extinction Rebellion’s favour, it will reestablish the right to peaceful protest and render unlawful the arrests of hundreds of protesters detained under the blanket ban.
Claimants, lawyers and Extinction Rebellion supporters will be outside the Royal Courts of Justice at around 10am before the day’s hearing begins at 10.30am.
Notes for Editors
About Extinction Rebellion:
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s Demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
- In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out.
- Start a group where you are: in the UK or around the world.
- Find your local group.
- Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites.
- And while your time and energy are of most importance, if you are financially able to donate money, see our crowdfunder.
About Rising Up!
Extinction Rebellion is an initiative of the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion while the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.