Hands off the crusties!

Extinction Rebellion must be allowed to protest peacefully.



The police have banned Extinction Rebellion (XR) from protesting in London.

Last night the Metropolitan Police began clearing the XR camp in Trafalgar Square and issued a stark warning to protesters: ‘Any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion “Autumn Uprising”… must now cease their protests within London.’

Police are using powers under Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 – a draconian piece of legislation that effectively gives police carte blanche to arrest protesters.

Britain’s public-order laws are a menace to free expression and to free assembly, severely curbing the right to protest.

Unlike our right to free speech, the right to protest is not absolute. Police should move people on if they are blocking roads and disrupting everyday life. And they should arrest people who cause damage. Even so, banning XR ‘affiliates’ from the whole of London is a totally disproportionate response. Most of the XR protesters are harmless, if a little odd:

The great irony is that many Extinction Rebellion protesters want to be arrested.

Getting arrested adds a veneer of radical respectability to XR’s programme of eco-austerity. XR co-founder Roger Hallam often (rather arrogantly) compares his eco-cult to the civil-rights movement.

Let’s not give them the satisfaction. The police should back away from the crusties.

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Paul Christie

16th October 2019 at 3:17 pm

I agree that the police should back away from those idiots but only if they give the public carte blanche to deal with them as we see fit.

Ven Oods

24th October 2019 at 6:58 pm

How about if we made it ‘Hands off the Christies’?

A Game

16th October 2019 at 1:10 pm

Their appropriation of civil rights movement isn’t arrogant, its disgusting, selfish, self aggrandising. Really nasty, frankly.

There has to be limits to the physical. Its good that the UK has some draconian old laws to fall back on. That they were indulged, limitlessly, for over a week… allowed to interfere and harm other people’s livelihoods and freedom of movement… party has to end. Also… if I pitched a Tent in Trafalgar Square, to camp for two weeks, just because I liked being close to infrastructure… I’d be moved on as a vagrant, wouldn’t I?
If I did the same to protest the sentencing recommendation handed out that hard time is to be handed out for speech hate crimes against Trans – 6 months for the milder cases – and intended to stay until this policy was overturned… living in Trafalgar Square in my tent, possibly attracting the likeminded… would we be allowed?
There has to be limits to what a group of people have decided they want to do to a city/town.

Suddenly the death cult is harmless, eh? Those people, every last one of them, are as bad as the Manson family at the top that they support. And if they are ignorant of what Charles Hallam is about… since when is ignorance a defence?

Winston Stanley

15th October 2019 at 11:24 pm

Police arrested a bloke just for dressing as broccoli and holding a sign about locally sourced veg. That is totalitarian police state behaviour. He cried out, “give peas a chance.”


Martin Bishop

16th October 2019 at 9:09 pm

Indeed, Broccoli man is such a threat I was surprised it took only three of them to arrest him and not an armed response team.

Hugh Bryant

15th October 2019 at 6:34 pm

As others have said, they can protest all they like so long as they pay for the policing and the clean-up. Why should people who work hard and often struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table pay for the self-indulgence of these middle class freeloaders.

James Knight

15th October 2019 at 5:49 pm

XR have the same right to peaceful protest as Tommy Robinson or Britain First.

Compared to gilet jaunes in France – who are a more genuine “grass roots” movement with wider public support – XR have been treated with kid gloves.

Gareth Edward KING

15th October 2019 at 5:20 pm

Absolutely! I’d rather have the freedom to point out that they’re ridiculous and off their respective trollies than have the pólice ban their protest outright. As has often been pointed out on these pages: protesting per se is to be lauded and what we protest about should not be an issue for the law. For sure, pro-Brexit protesters have not got off at all lightly nor did the miners in the 1980s.

Adamsson 66

15th October 2019 at 4:04 pm

I no Spiked has long tradition of being against everything but really if can’t see the difference between a demonstration and a few hundred paid activists blocking roads and causing trouble for weeks on end then you are being deliberately stupid.

Genghis Kant

15th October 2019 at 3:36 pm

I don’t see why the rest of us should have to pay for their hobby.

The organisers and participants in any protest should be made to pay the full costs of policing it, cleaning up after it, any damage caused, and compensate those who suffer loss of business or income through the actions of the ‘protesters’.

Let’s see how keen they are to ‘fight injustice’ when they have to put their own money where their placards are.

Jim Lawrie

15th October 2019 at 1:34 pm

XR have repeatedly and unlawfully stopped others from going peacefully about their lawful business. Anyone who turns up is signing up for that.

Winston Stanley

15th October 2019 at 1:13 pm

And the EDL will also welcome being banned on the same grounds.

> Demonstrations by the English Defence League have cost the British taxpayer more than £10m due to police patrolling, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

West Midlands Police commissioner Bob Jones told the BBC that figures were a cause for concern, having spent more than £500,000 alone on multiple protest policing in Birmingham.

“We find it grossly unhelpful that this group is coming to demonstrate here again,” he said, ahead of another protest planned for this weekend.

“They are extremely unwelcome and it is likely to blow a very significant hole in the police budget,” Jones said. (Huffington Post)

Jim Lawrie

15th October 2019 at 4:22 pm

The cost is not the reason why they are being stopped. The issue is the force employed by XR that leads to the expenditure.
The large sums spent around EDL demos are the result of those intent on stopping the EDL by violent means.

Jerry Owen

15th October 2019 at 4:33 pm

You are correct !

Ecgbert King

15th October 2019 at 1:06 pm

“Most of the XR protesters are harmless, if a little odd”

Staggeringly naive. Do some digging. XR want to destroy western civilisation (their words), and create a post-industrial, agrarian, de-urnbanised society (their words) on the route to which some will die (their words).

Check Pol Pot. They are the 21st century Khmer Rouge, seeking to create a new “year zero”. The killing fields will be larger this time though.

The mugs that are supporting them may not know this – they are merely useful idiots. But there is nothing so dangerous as an empowered idiot.

Andrew Leonard

15th October 2019 at 1:45 pm

We are now in a period of escalation, which everyone needs to be aware of. However, I’m not sure the leaders of XR envisage themselves as living an agrarian lifestyle, after the revolution.
Do you really see them giving up their affluent lifestyles and yoga retreats in exotic locations?
So as for what they have planned for Western society, I’m leaning more a massive Eugenics program, than Khmer Rouge style Communism.
Either way, what do you think is their path to power?

Danny Rees

15th October 2019 at 3:29 pm

LMFAO a bunch of white middle class crusty activists wanna destroy western civilisation.

Scary or what?

Andrew Leonard

15th October 2019 at 4:54 pm

They have substantial support and sympathy within governments, are funded by billionaires, and are prepared to accept social ‘losses’.

Jim Lawrie

15th October 2019 at 6:51 pm

They’re a shower of saga louts.

They should be locked up for a few days without access to incontinence pads, then paraded in public as they are marched to the magistrates.

Andrew Best

15th October 2019 at 1:06 pm

What rubbish
Don’t agree with this article at all, if these were poor black and white Londoners protesting knife crime they would have been removed straight away but respectable middle class idiots and we should all bow and scrape to them!
Every one I know has more important things to worry about
Council tax
Not getting stabbed
These people have to much time on their hands and want to lord it over us little people and our small minded concerns

Andrew Leonard

15th October 2019 at 12:36 pm

Sadiq Khan is not going to allow whitey to colonise the centre of London.
I wonder how whitey will hit back?
Anyway, the war has begun.

Danny Rees

15th October 2019 at 3:28 pm

LMFAO this has nothing to do with being white but the cops banning lawful protest.

Anyway parts of London have been colonised by white people middle class people.

Jerry Owen

15th October 2019 at 12:11 pm

If they are banned from London absolutely fab as far as I am concerned. One off protests or street marches we can re plan our schedule around , however a two week shutdown is totally out of order.
As for them wanting to get arrested .. Hogwash, a criminal record will make it difficult to gain employment, expensive to get a mortgage, loan, or car car insurance.

Jim Lawrie

15th October 2019 at 4:23 pm

Traffic has been tailing back all the way to Blackheath.

Amelia Cantor

15th October 2019 at 11:59 am

Thank you for supporting us, Spiked.

We won’t repay the compliment when we come to power, of course, but that’s because we’re not rightards and we don’t believe in helping our enemies.

Andrew Leonard

15th October 2019 at 4:56 pm

That is, except for the Islamists

Winston Stanley

15th October 2019 at 11:40 am

What goes around comes around. All protests infringe on the pubic in some way or other. Usually they march up roads, completely blocking them. Public nuisance can be used to ban protests across the political spectrum. The only faction that really benefits from that is the capitalist State. Well done DM readers.

Mark Lambert

15th October 2019 at 11:31 am

And once again, the police can’t win.
They get pilloried for “just standing around”.
And then when XR insist on disrupting and publicly declare it as a method, the police get
criticised for putting a stop to it.

The police are correct in shutting them down.

Neil John

15th October 2019 at 1:29 pm

Time to build some cages on redundant sea-going sewage barges. They want to regress, fine, here’s your berth on a prison hulk.

Jane 70

15th October 2019 at 2:16 pm

Quite right; compare our cops’ patient response to the thrashing dished out to the gilets jaunes by the French Gendarmerie: loss of eyes in some cases; head injuries,etc.
Perhaps XR will test their resolve by taking the protests to Paris, along with token luvvies like the Blessed Benedict of Cumberbatch and St Mark Rylance.

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