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Extinction Rebellion: rights experts say peaceful protest in UK under threat

(The Guardian, 4 Sep 2020) Liberty condemns ‘unworkable restrictions, fines and arrests’ used by police to stifle rallies.

Civil liberty experts have warned that peaceful protest is under threat in the UK, after the environmental campaigners were targeted with pre-emptive arrest and “unworkable restrictions” were placed on this week’s Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrations.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets this week to highlight the escalating climate emergency and demand urgent action from the government.

More than 200 campaigners have so far been arrested. The civil liberties group Liberty said legitimate protest was being hampered by forceful police tactics.

“Despite the fact the police have a duty to facilitate protest, recent weeks have seen unworkable restrictions, fines and arrests all used to deter us from exercising our rights,” said Gracie Bradley, the group’s interim director. “These restrictions are heavy-handed and go too far.”

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The Guardian, 4 Sep 2020: Extinction Rebellion: rights experts say peaceful protest in UK under threat