Extinction Rebellion has been banned from protesting in London and people are furious

Andy Gregory
Tuesday 15 October 2019 09:15
news

The Met has banned Extinction Rebellion from protesting anywhere in London after those aligned with the activist movement "shut down" the capital's financial hub.

In the wake of April's historic "Spring Uprising" that saw several parts of London transformed by peaceful demonstrations, police vowed to take a tougher stance on October's protests and legally constrained the activists to Trafalgar Square alone.

But after a day in which hundreds of protesters descended on the Bank junction, with some gluing themselves to buildings housing the Bank of England, Barclay's, BlackRock and BAE Systems, the Met decided to ban the protests completely.

After cutting activists out of locks, confiscating equipment and arresting people, the police said they had "made good progress cle​aring Trafalgar Square and other sites to enable the capital to return to normal following more than a week of protests".

Due to continued breaches of the section 14 condition previously implemented and ongoing serious disruption this further condition was imposed. This was an operational policing decision to help us get London moving again.

After nine days of disruption we felt it is entirely proportionate and reasonable to impose this condition because of the cumulative impact of these protests.

However, I want to be absolutely clear. This does not mean people are banned from protesting in London. The condition applies specifically to the Extinction Rebellion 'Autumn Uprising'.

If Extinction Rebellion, or any other group, come to us with a proposal for lawful protests then of course we will discuss that with them.

While it's arguably not surprising that the police - likely under huge political pressure, fanned by tabloid outrage - would toughen up once large capital interests were directly targeted, the move to completely ban the protests was met with fury and concern.

Some couldn’t help but make political comparisons

Rather than slowing the movement down, the police's decision appears to have had quite the opposite effect.

As proven by journalist George Monbiot, a leading figure in the global climate movement, outlawing the presence of a group aiming to get arrested might not be the best course of action.

Meanwhile, co-founder Gail Bradbrook was arrested this morning after climbing onto the Department for Transport to protest HS2, invoking suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst.

As the Home Office may well be thinking today, if only it was this simple...

More: Man dressed as broccoli was arrested at Extinction Rebellion protest and the jokes wrote themselves

More: Levels of atmospheric CO2 just broke records and Exxon knew it would in 1982​

Trending