Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Extinction Rebellion to bring ‘millions on to streets’ amid protest law change

Extinction Rebellion has spoken out against the new Public Order Bill (PA)
Extinction Rebellion has spoken out against the new Public Order Bill (PA)

Extinction Rebellion (XR) has announced plans to bring “millions of people on to the streets” after the Government launched a fresh bid to crack down on disruptive “guerrilla protests”.

The climate change protest group said it is “foolish” for ministers to think announcing new “curbs” will stop people “taking to the streets to demand their Government act to ensure a safe future for people in the UK and around the world”, as it set out its intention for action from September 10.

It comes after the Public Order Bill was unveiled as part of the Queen’s Speech, with harsher sentences and new criminal offences for those involved in some types of protest.

The Bill seeks to outlaw tactics in England and Wales such as protesters “locking on” to public transport infrastructure or gluing themselves to roads, which have been adopted by campaign groups such as Insulate Britain.

The move represents a bid to revive measures which were previously put forward under the now-passed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill but had to be scrapped after being knocked back by the House of Lords.

In a sign of the Government’s determination to drive through the measures, officials said the legislation is set to be introduced in Parliament on Wednesday.

Charlie Waterhouse, from XR, said: “It is foolish to think that announcing new curbs in the Queen’s Speech will stop people taking to the streets to demand their Government act to ensure a safe future for people in the UK and around the world.

“As we in Extinction Rebellion know full well: what we do works. It’s worked countless times before. It has worked to give us weekends and the vote, human rights and freedom. And it will work again.

“Faced with a Government incapable of anything other than a desperate attempt to shore-up its own power and cover-up its criminality, it is the only thing we can do.

“To be a bystander is not enough…

“So Boris Johnson and Priti Patel, we thank you. Our organisations were set up to break the law to drive positive change. Your actions show that we are winning.”

The Bill will create new criminal offences of “locking on” and going equipped to “lock on” to other people, objects or buildings in order to cause “serious disruption”, with a maximum penalty of up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both.

A new offence of interfering with key national infrastructure – such as airports, railways and printing presses – will carry a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

It will also become illegal to obstruct major transport works, such as the HS2 high-speed rail link, again punishable by up to six months in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

The Bill will also extend stop-and-search powers so the police can seize articles related to the new offences, while new serious disruption prevention orders will be available for those who repeatedly cause criminal disruption.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said ministers are determined to prevent protesters bringing the country to “a grinding halt”, adding: “The law-abiding, responsible majority have had enough of anti-social, disruptive protests carried out by a self-indulgent minority who seem to revel in causing mayhem and misery for the rest of us.”

Ms Patel denied she is attempting to erode the right to protest, describing it as a “fundamental right… that we all cherish dearly” and dismissing such claims put forward by opponents as a “lazy excuse”.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal Politics team

More from the Press and Journal