LONDON – Extinction Rebellion climate-change activists won a legal challenge in London’s High Court on Wednesday against a police-imposed blanket ban on protests during its “Autumn Uprising” in the British capital in October.
The court said separate gatherings, even if coordinated by one organization, could not be defined as a single “public assembly” and the officer who set the ban was not present at the scene.
It aimed to force the government to transform the current economic model so that radical action can be taken against climate breakdown, biodiversity loss and the risk of social and ecological collapse.
Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave said the decision to ban the protests was not taken lightly.
“After more than a week of serious disruption in London both to communities and across our partner agencies, and taking account of the enormous ongoing effort by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service and across the U.K. to police the protest, we firmly believed that the continuation of the situation was untenable,” he said.
Extinction Rebellion said more than 400 of its activists were arrested during the four-day ban, and those not charged with other offenses could now sue the police for false imprisonment and could be entitled to compensation.
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