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Wednesday, 10am: High Court to rule on legality of police ban of Extinction Rebellion protests


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  • The High Court to deliver its judgment on the Metropolitan Police’s blanket ban of Extinction Rebellion protests during the October Rebellion (Royal Courts of Justice, Wednesday 6 November, 10am). 
  • Extinction Rebellion is seeking to defend the long-established right to peaceful protest.
  • Baroness Jenny Jones, Caroline Lucas MP, Clive Lewis MP, David Drew MP, Ellie Chowns MEP, Adam Allnut and George Monbiot have brought the judicial review on behalf of Extinction Rebellion.
  • Claimants, lawyers and Extinction Rebellion supporters will be outside the Royal Courts of Justice with the judgment shortly after 10am.
  • 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.

On Wednesday at 10am, the High Court will deliver its judgment on the Metropolitan Police’s decision to ban all Extinction Rebellion protests across London during the second week of the October Rebellion.

The judicial review was brought on behalf of Extinction Rebellion by Baroness Jenny Jones, Caroline Lucas MP, Clive Lewis MP, David Drew MP, Ellie Chowns MEP, Adam Allnut and George Monbiot.

Extinction Rebellion believes the ban was an unprecedented and unlawful curtailment of the right to protest which risks criminalising those who want to call attention to the climate and ecological emergency.

Civil liberties groups from around the world also condemned it, calling on the UK government to reverse the decision. Fourteen members of the International Network of Civil Liberties Organisations – including Liberty (UK), The American Civil Liberties Union (USA), the Kenyan Human Rights Commission (Kenya) and Human Rights Law Centre (Australia) – issued a statement calling the move an infringement on the right to protest, which is both fundamental to democracy and enshrined in international law. (Full text available on request.)

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 Metropolitan Police figures, over 400 Extinction Rebellion activists were arrested.

Extinction Rebellion hopes that the two senior High Court judges who will rule on the case will quash the police’s decision as unlawful. If they do, several hundred protesters would have the right to sue the Metropolitan Police for false imprisonment.

Claimants, lawyers and Extinction Rebellion supporters will be available for interview outside the Royal Courts of Justice once the judgement is delivered (shortly after 10am Wednesday 6 November, 10am ).

Quotes

Caroline Lucas MP, co-leader of the 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”.

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 key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook.

Get involved:

  • 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 legal 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.


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