Thursday, November 07, 2019

Britain's climate tyranny was unlawful

Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court has declared the "ban" unlawful:

Mr Justice Dingemans and Mr Justice Chamberlain said the Met’s section 14 order that XR “must now cease their protests within London” was unlawful because it went beyond the powers granted to police by the Public Order Act 1986.

In a judicial review ruling handed down on Wednesday morning, the judges said the Met had been wrong to define Extinction Rebellion’s two-week long “autumn uprising” as a single public assembly on which it could impose the order.

“Separate gatherings, separated both in time and by many miles, even if coordinated under the umbrella of one body, are not a public assembly under the meaning of section 14(1) of the 1986 act,” Dingemans said.

“The XR autumn uprising intended to be held from 14 to 19 October was not therefore a public assembly … therefore the decision to impose the condition was unlawful because there was no power to impose it.”

Hundreds of people were arrested for breaching the "ban". Now, they're looking at suing the police for damages. I hope they do, and I hope they win, because institutions need to be dealt a financial bloody nose when they overstep the mark, to provide a strong incentive not to do it again. But there needs to be harsher consequences than that. The commissioner of the metropolitan police signed an unlawful order which significantly interfered with the freedoms they were supposed to protect. They need to be fired, with no pension, pour encourager les autres. There should be no mercy for tyranny by government officials.