Connect with us

Main News

Former head of the Supreme Court Baroness Hale says Parliament ‘surrendered’ its powers

Published

on

former head of the supreme court baroness hale says parliament surrendered its powers

The supreme court’s first female president has said Parliament ‘surrendered’ its powers over to the Government amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Baroness Brenda Hale, who served as president at the UK’s highest court from 2017- 2020, criticised the draconian measures and ‘sweeping’ powers being enforced on the British public without the scrutiny of Parliament. 

Her comments come as the Government seeks to extend the emergency coronavirus powers for a further six months in an effort to control a second devastating wave of coronavirus.

Baroness Brenda Hale, who served as president at the UK's highest court from 2017- 2020, criticised 'sweeping' powers being enforced on the public without the scrutiny of Parliament

Baroness Brenda Hale, who served as president at the UK’s highest court from 2017- 2020, criticised ‘sweeping’ powers being enforced on the public without the scrutiny of Parliament

In an essay seen by The Guardian, the baroness wrote: ‘It is not surprising the police were as confused as the public as to what was law and what was not.’

Referencing the Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings, the former judge went on to describe how there was confusion among Government ministers themselves as to what the rules were. 

She continued: ‘A certain government adviser obviously did know what the regulations were and what they said.’

Baroness Hale also explained that Parliament ‘did surrender control to the government at a crucial time’ and urged ministers to now restore a ‘properly functioning constitution’.

She added: ‘My plea is that we get back to a properly functioning constitution as soon as we possibly can.’ 

The baroness’ calls come as senior Tories plan a parliamentary lock to prevent Boris Johnson having the final say on new lockdown measures after restrictions on the public’s freedom, such as the Rule of Six, were introduced without a debate in the Commons. 

Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, is planning to table an amendment that would force ministers to put any new measures to a vote first. 

This week it was revealed that Tories plan a parliamentary lock to prevent Boris Johnson having the final say on new lockdown measures

This week it was revealed that Tories plan a parliamentary lock to prevent Boris Johnson having the final say on new lockdown measures

Sir Graham Brady (pictured) is looking to force a vote by MPs on emergency coronavirus measures

Sir Graham Brady (pictured) is looking to force a vote by MPs on emergency coronavirus measures

The move comes as Boris Johnson announced that anyone in England who refuses to obey an order to self-isolate could face a fine of up to £10,000.

The Altrincham and Sale West MP told The Sunday Telegraph that he would take the opportunity to seek to amend the legislation when the Government comes to renew the emergency powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020.

The move is likely to attract significant support from Conservative MPs unhappy at the extensive powers taken by ministers with little or no parliamentary scrutiny.

Sir Graham told the Telegraph: ‘In March, Parliament gave the Government sweeping emergency powers at a time when Parliament was about to go into recess and there was realistic concern that NHS care capacity might be overwhelmed by Covid-19.

‘We now know that the NHS coped well with the challenge of the virus and Parliament has been sitting largely since April. 

‘There is now no justification for ministers ruling by emergency powers without reference to normal democratic processes.’ 

Powered by: Daily Mail

Main News

The death of driving… by 1,000 cuts: How parking spaces are being quietly replaced by ‘Parklets’

Published

on

By

the death of driving by 1000 cuts how parking spaces are being quietly replaced by parklets

Parking spaces are being quietly replaced by Covid-friendly seats and cycle bays called ‘Parklets’ as authorities continue exploiting the Covid-19 crisis to wage their eco-war against Britain’s motorists. 

The troublesome wooden structures extend off the curbs into two parking spaces to give pedestrians more space.  

Fans claim they can give businesses extra space for customers living under Tier 2 restrictions to wait or eat and drink outside with other people. 

But many cities including London, already groaning under Low Traffic Neighbourhood measures, have been colder in their acceptance of the new structures.

Design company Meristem have imposed their parklets in Hammersmith Grove, Shoreditch and Ealing in the capital to the frustration of motorists who are already grappling with Sadiq Khan’s drastic anti-car curbs.  

Drivers are warning that the parklets are the latest example of their liberties being eroded by overreaching authorities, as the Labour Mayor of London and several councils including Lewisham sponsor the initiative.   

Alliance of British Drivers founder Hugh Bladon told MailOnline: ‘Councils all over the country, the one thing they hate is anybody using the car or any kind of four-wheeled vehicle.

‘They will do anything they can to make it as miserable as possible for drivers. 

Parklets are put into parking spaces and extend the pavement out onto the street

Parklets are put into parking spaces and extend the pavement out onto the street 

Parklets have become incredibly popular in London but many motorists are not fans

Parklets have become incredibly popular in London but many motorists are not fans

‘The situation in London and spreading to other cities is absolutely chronic.

‘We have got a situation because they have made these parklets it has brought some areas to a standstill.

‘You have got the emergency vehicles unable to go about their businesses properly because of all of this. We are going to end up with people dying because of this.

‘In my view if that happens, the councils who have done this have got blood on their hands.

‘We have been campaigning vigorously against these. Once you get these things put in – how the hell do you get them take out again? The whole thing is completely crackers, it’s going to take someone strong to say “Put our roads back to normal” but it needs to happen.’ 

One of the country’s newest and fastest growing providers of parklets is called Meristem Designs, based in London.

Its chairman is David Firth, who is the non-executive director of a number of Alternative Investment Market companies. 

Meristem Design is one of the newest companies to be offering them to councils and areas

Meristem Design is one of the newest companies to be offering them to councils and areas

Meristem's website has a form for people to fill in to help them ask their authorities for them

Meristem’s website has a form for people to fill in to help them ask their authorities for them

The firm proudly tweets about its success stories and even offers a form for interested parties to fill in and it will contact councils for them

The firm proudly tweets about its success stories and even offers a form for interested parties to fill in and it will contact councils for them

The firm proudly tweets about its success stories and even offers a form for interested parties to fill in and it will contact councils for them.   

Parklets are a similar problem to boxes and barriers used for Low Traffic Neighborhoods.

They have prompted outcry from some families over congestion caused by them being in place.  

Council chiefs have removed ‘unsightly’ street barriers in the Scottish town of St Andrews after an outcry from local business owners. 

Fife Council installed the barriers on Market Street, in St Andrews, the town’s busiest thoroughfare.

They were removed after a backlash from business owners, forcing the council to become the latest authority to cave to pressure from locals and remove the barriers. 

Authorities across the UK have come under fire for erecting barriers in busy town and city centres.

The barriers, designed to make more room for pedestrians, have squeezed drivers out from city centres and make it harder for buses and taxi drivers to navigate the narrower streets.  

It comes amid Sadiq Khan’s war on cars, after his radical measures to curb pollution have come under fire for causing on the roads.  

The London Mayor’s £33million Low Traffic Neighbourhood has implemented cycle lane segregation and banned turns at several junctions to promote alternative forms of travel. 

The new lanes were brought in to encourage people to cycle to work by giving them more space and reduce the pressure on public transport amid fears over social distancing issues on the Underground and buses. 

However it has been dropped by his own local council over concerns it is causing ‘chaos’, blocking emergency vehicles and generating ‘excessive levels of pollution’.  

ANOTHER council removes social-distancing spaces: Town’s pavement-widening barriers are latest to be taken down amid backlash over them squeezing out drivers

  • Fife Council removed the ‘unsightly’ barriers after outcry from local businesses 
  • The barriers on St Andrew’s main road Market Street cut off 30 parking spaces
  • Businesses owners said it was affecting trade, prompting 1,000-strong petition
  • A spate of UK councils have removed barriers after backlash from communities

Council chiefs have removed ‘unsightly’ street barriers in the Scottish town of St Andrews after an outcry from local business owners. 

Fife Council installed the barriers on Market Street, in St Andrews, the town’s busiest thoroughfare.

They were removed after a backlash from business owners, forcing the council to become the latest authority to cave to pressure from locals and remove the barriers. 

Authorities across the UK have come under fire for erecting barriers in busy town and city centres.

The barriers, designed to make more room for pedestrians, have squeezed drivers out from city centres and make it harder for buses and taxi drivers to navigate the narrower streets. 

It comes after barriers were removed from a street in Melton, Leicestershire, and also from Deptford High Street in south east London. 

Fife Council installed the barriers on Market Street (pictured), in St Andrews - the town's busiest thoroughfare - but had to remove them after a backlash from business owners

Fife Council installed the barriers on Market Street (pictured), in St Andrews – the town’s busiest thoroughfare – but had to remove them after a backlash from business owners 

The cordons cut off more than 30 parking spaces, angering locals and business owners as the restrictions affected custom and trade as no one could park along the street

The cordons cut off more than 30 parking spaces, angering locals and business owners as the restrictions affected custom and trade as no one could park along the street

The red and white plastic barriers in St Andrews were reportedly designed to widen pavements and allow more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

But the cordons cut off more than 30 parking spaces, angering locals and business owners as the restrictions affected custom and trade as no one could park along the street.  

Councils who have had to remove their barriers

– Fife Council had to remove barriers from Market Street in St Andrews, Scotland.

– Melton Borough Council had to remove barriers from Sherrard Street in Leicestershire.

– Lewisham Council took down the barriers put up on Deptford High Street as drivers kep banging into them as they navigated the narrow road.

Advertisement

Fife Council scrapped the ‘Spaces for People’ infrastructure within days of their installation after more than 1,000 people called for a local authority U-turn.

The barriers were pulled down after 60 members of the local business improvement district (BID) formed a petition.

Angry business owners feared the loss of car parking spaces would affect trade and penalise the elderly and disabled who would ‘no longer be able to access the shopping centre without difficulty’.

They wrote on their petition: ‘We understand that Fife Council are implementing these measures on health and safety grounds but some of the measures directly contradict and contravene the government’s recommendations that the public try and avoid public transport and travel by car if possible, to stop the spread of COVID19. 

‘How can they travel if they can’t park?’ 

One social media user branded the barriers ‘unsightly’ and said they were ‘implemented without consideration’ for local businesses. 

Council’s across the country have come under fire for erecting barriers in busy town and city centres. 

One social media user branded the barriers in St Andrews 'unsightly' and said they were 'implemented without consideration' for local businesses

One social media user branded the barriers in St Andrews ‘unsightly’ and said they were ‘implemented without consideration’ for local businesses

Stuart Winton posted a picture of the 'parking suspended' sign on St Andrew's Market Street

Stuart Winton posted a picture of the ‘parking suspended’ sign on St Andrew’s Market Street

Bus companies, taxi drivers and private motorists also voice their concern after barriers were put up on a busy street in Melton, Leicestershire. 

The drivers felt the reduced road width made it increasingly difficult to travel through the town centre, reported the Melton Times. 

Red and white markers placed on Deptford High Street in south east London were also removed by the council after they were repeatedly knocked out of formation by drivers trying to navigate the narrow road.  

Defending their decision Fife Council said the barriers were not currently needed and they could return in time for the Christmas shopping rush. 

Altany Craik, convener of Fife Council’s economy, tourism, strategic planning and transportation committee, said: ‘The demand for space varies over time with Christmas expected to have a higher demand for pedestrian space in town centre shopping streets.

Traffic barriers installed on Deptford high street in south east London were also removed

Traffic barriers installed on Deptford high street in south east London were also removed

‘Therefore, as the footways are wider in Market Street, the measures have been removed for the time being.

‘However, should things change, and when the town becomes busier again on the run up to Christmas, we will reconsider this area and the potential to provide further space to help with social distancing.’

But some angry locals hit out at the decision to remove the barriers.   

Professor Richard Olver, emeritus professor of child health at the University of Dundee, said: ‘I am frankly shocked to learn that during a public health emergency, a decision has been taken to remove most, if not all, the Spaces for People measures, without further consultation with any stakeholders other than BID St Andrews.

A social media user applauded news that the barriers in St Andrews would be removed

A social media user applauded news that the barriers in St Andrews would be removed

‘St Andrews is peppered with signs instructing pedestrians to keep two metres apart in accordance with Sottish Government guidance, but Fife Council is now dismantling the very measures necessary to allow this to happen.

‘I believe this to be totally irresponsible and it will render safe physical distancing impossible when the streets are busy with students and visitors, forcing people either to rub shoulders or walk into the road – as I personally have had to do on numerous occasions.

‘With an outbreak of coronavirus in the university and an upsurge in cases elsewhere in Fife, the timing could not be worse.

‘Prioritising business interests at the expense of the health needs of the public is surely wrongheaded.

‘After all, neither residents nor visitors will not want to shop in the town centre if they do not feel safe.’ 

 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Main News

Half of Donald Trump’s supporters BELIEVE QAnon’s bizarre central claim

Published

on

By

half of donald trumps supporters believe qanons bizarre central claim

A new poll in the wake of President Trump‘s refusal to denounce QAnon shows that half of his supporters believe a bizarre conspiracy claim that Trump is working to shut down a secret Democratic-run pedophilia ring. 

The results, contained in a Yahoo News / YouGov poll, comes after Trump clashed in a town hall forum when interviewer Savannah Guthrie invited him to condemn the group and its bizarre theory. 

It reveals the potential political pressure the president believes he is facing, with many of his supporters subscribing to a bizarre idea he refused to denounce. 

A 55 per cent majority of voters have still not heard of the group, according to the poll

'I know nothing about QAnon,' Trump said at the town hall when asked to condemn their conspiracies

‘I know nothing about QAnon,’ Trump said at the town hall when asked to condemn their conspiracies

And among all registered voters, a vast majority do not subscribe to its bizarre view about a secret child sex ring, 51 to 25.

But it is another matter when examining Trump supporters. Among them, a full 50 per cent believe the idea, according to the survey, with 17 per cent saying they don’t believe it and a third ‘not sure.’ 

By contrast, just 5 per cent of Joe Biden voters believe the claim. 

‘I know nothing about QAnon,’ Trump said at the town hall when asked to condemn their conspiracies 

Half of Trump supporters said they believe in an elite child-trafficking ring, a central conspiracy theory of QAnon followers, according to a new poll

Half of Trump supporters said they believe in an elite child-trafficking ring, a central conspiracy theory of QAnon followers, according to a new poll

MANKATO, MN - AUGUST 17: Kim Harty (C) holds a Q Anon sign outside Mankato Regional Airport as President Donald Trump makes a campaign stop on August 17, 2020 in Mankato, Minnesota. Trump spoke at the airport before continuing on to a campaign stop in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

MANKATO, MN – AUGUST 17: Kim Harty (C) holds a Q Anon sign outside Mankato Regional Airport as President Donald Trump makes a campaign stop on August 17, 2020 in Mankato, Minnesota. Trump spoke at the airport before continuing on to a campaign stop in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

A Trump supporter carries a Q Anon flag while attending a rally for the Proud Boys at Delta Park Vanport on September 26, 2020 in Portland, Oregon

A Trump supporter carries a Q Anon flag while attending a rally for the Proud Boys at Delta Park Vanport on September 26, 2020 in Portland, Oregon

US President Donald Trump speaks with audience members after participating in an NBC News town hall event at the Perez Art Museum in Miami on October 15, 2020, where he said he knows 'nothing' about QAnon

US President Donald Trump speaks with audience members after participating in an NBC News town hall event at the Perez Art Museum in Miami on October 15, 2020, where he said he knows ‘nothing’ about QAnon

The Q-Anon conspiracy theorists hold signs during the protest at the State Capitol in Salem, Oregon, United States on May 2, 2020

The Q-Anon conspiracy theorists hold signs during the protest at the State Capitol in Salem, Oregon, United States on May 2, 2020

There are different results when people are asked about the group by name. Among those Trump supporters who have heard of it, percent call it an extremist conspiracy theory with no basis in fact, while 22 per cent say it ‘goes too far.’

It is when the question is asked without mention of the group’s name that Trump supporters give its central idea such strong support.

The president didn’t do much to bat down the idea when asked about it at his town hall interview on NBC with Savannah Guthrie.  

‘I wanted to ask you about QAnon – it is this theory that Democrats are a satanic pedophile ring, and you are the savior of that. Now can you just, once and for all, state that that is completely not true. So disavow QAnon in its entirety,’ Guthrie asked him in a contentious exchange with the president.

‘I know nothing about QAnon. I know very little,’ Trump claimed, although he has retweeted QAnon information multiple times and backed GOP candidates with QAnon links.

‘I just told you,’ she pressed.

‘You told me, but what you tell me doesn’t necessarily make it fact – I hate to say that,’ Trump pushed back. ‘I know nothing about it. I know they are very much against pedophilia, they fight it very hard. But I know nothing about it’ – he said, appearing to applaud at least part of its worldview.

Guthrie tried another approach by inciting remarks from Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska – who in the past has clashed with Trump.

‘Republican Senator Ben Sasse said quote QAnon is nuts and real leaders call conspiracy theories, conspiracy theories,’ she said.

‘He may be right,’ Trump conceded.

‘Why not just say it’s crazy and not true?’ she asked of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

‘Can I be honest, he may be right. I just don’t know about QAnon,’ Trump repeated.

‘You do know,’ she claimed.

‘I don’t know. You tell me all about it,’ he said. ‘Let’s waste the whole show. You started off with White Supremacy, I denounce it. You start off with something else. Let’s go, keep asking me these questions.’

‘But let me just tell you, what I do hear about it is they are very strongly against pedophilia. And I agree with that. I mean, I do agree with that and I agree with it strongly,’ he said.

Thirty-eight per cent of Trump voters, compared to 24 percent of Joe Biden voters, report coming across posts or emails about child sex trafficking.

The issue bubbled up in the 2016 elections amid bizarre and false claims of a Democratic child sex ring being run out of the basement of a pizza parlor. 

QAnon has gained traction recently as some candidates, including a Republican U.S. congressional candidate from Georgia, have won their primaries – and others within the party have come out in favor of the conspiracy group.

Most recently, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have begun campaigns to crack down on the spread of QAnon conspiracies on their social media platforms. It started with Twitter announcing earlier this month that it would block all content related to QAnon, not just those that incite physical harm or violence.

QAnon fashions President Trump as a secret warrior against this supposed child-trafficking ring allegedly run by celebrities and government officials.

WHAT IS QANON?

Origins: Q Anon started on fringe website 4chan, where a poster calling themselves Q left messages claiming to be a senior federal official and purporting to reveal a ‘deep state’ cabal intent on bringing down Donald Trump. Q grew out of the discredited Pizzagate conspiracy that top Democrats were involved in pedophilia and cannibalism from the basement of a Washington D.C. restaurant, but quickly picked up steam with ‘Q’ leaving ‘clues’ and claims that Trump was going to bring down the deep state. Whenever the conspiracies turn out to not be true, followers rationalize that the inaccuracies are part of Q’s larger plan.

Who is Q?: There may now be multiple people posing as Q on the anonymous 4chan boards

A QAnon believer blocked the bridge near Hoover Dam with a homemade armored tank in the name of the movement, and later pleaded guilty to terrorism

A QAnon believer blocked the bridge near Hoover Dam with a homemade armored tank in the name of the movement, and later pleaded guilty to terrorism 

Hoover Dam: In June 2019, 32-year-old Matthew Wright, a QAnon supporter, blocked the bridge near Hoover Dam in Arizona with a homemade armored vehicle in a 90-minute stand-off. He pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and has written two letters to Donald Trump from jail, which include the sign-off, which has become the QAnon motto: “For where we go one, we go all.”

Michael Flynn: Trump’s former national security adviser became a martyr figure for QAnon believers after he took a plea deal from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, admitting he lied about his Russia contacts. QAnon conspiracy have spun Flynn pleading guilty into him being a persecuted victim of the deep state – and some even claim he is ‘Q.’

Many believers put three star emojis next to their Twitter handles. But the retired three-star general has denounced any connections to the group and pulled out of participating in an event after finding out it was hosted by a QAnon believer.

QAnon believers make former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn out to be a martyr after taking a plea deal with Robert Mueller

QAnon believers make former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn out to be a martyr after taking a plea deal with Robert Mueller

QAnon Political Candidates: Jo Rae Perkins, 64, won the Republican primary in Oregon in May to run for a Senate seat against incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley. “I stand with Q and the team,” she said when asked about her interest in the group. She insisted she goes to QAnon message boards as a “source of information” and claims media focuses too much on the group. Perkins won 49 per cent of the vote against three other Republicans.

Marjorie Taylor Greene came in first place in the Republican primary in a deep-red Georgia district, and will enter an August runoff. She has admitted to believing in several QAnon conspiracy theories.

Advertisement

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Main News

Extinction Rebellion protesters cost taxpayers £15 MILLION in policing costs in a year

Published

on

By

extinction rebellion protesters cost taxpayers 15 million in policing costs in a year

Extinction Rebellion protesters cost taxpayers £15 million in policing costs in a year with disruptive stunts including stripping off naked at the House of Commons.

The Home Office handed the Metropolitan Police millions of pounds of extra funding in the 2019/20 financial year to fund the soaring costs of dealing with the climate extremists. 

On March 9 last year around 400 protesters held a ‘Blood of Our Children’ demonstration outside Downing Street. Members poured buckets of fake blood on the road to represent the threatened lives of children.

The next month around 12 protesters were arrested after undressing and gluing themselves to the glass in the House of Commons viewing gallery during a debate.   

It comes after Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Steve House told the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee that Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists needed to ‘stop wasting police time’ when being arrested.   

A boat is placed in the centre of the traffic junction as Environmental campaigners block Oxford Circus during a coordinated protest by the Extinction Rebellion group on April 15, 2019

A boat is placed in the centre of the traffic junction as Environmental campaigners block Oxford Circus during a coordinated protest by the Extinction Rebellion group on April 15, 2019

The senior officer went on to explain that floppy tactics used by the climate change group were ‘a flipping nuisance’ and ‘a complete pain in the neck’. 

The tactic used by some activists sees them go limp when they are being arrested and will often mean four or five people are required to carry them away. 

The senior officer’s comments come just weeks after the group took to the streets of central London after declaring a ten-day protest.  

Sir Steve told the committee: ‘We have asked them to stop being floppy. It might seem like a silly thing to say, but when we arrest them and pick them up they go all floppy, which is why you see four or five officers carrying them away.

A protester is removed by police at the entrance to Downing Street, London, during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate change protest on Friday October 18, 2019

A protester is removed by police at the entrance to Downing Street, London, during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate change protest on Friday October 18, 2019

Police officers remove an Extinction Rebellion protester from Victoria Street, London, on Thursday September 3

Police officers remove an Extinction Rebellion protester from Victoria Street, London, on Thursday September 3

How DID climate anarchists cost the taxpayer £15 million in a year?

APRIL 1

Around 12 protesters were arrested after undressing and gluing themselves to the glass in the House of Commons viewing gallery during a debate on Brexit. 

APRIL 15

Thousands gathered in Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and the area around Parliament Square.

Five activists, including XR co-founder Simon Bramwell, were arrested for criminal damage when they targeted Shell’s headquarters, near Waterloo.

APRIL 16 

On the second day of actions on Waterloo Bridge police started arresting people at 12.40 pm, but stopped a few hours later when the force ran out of holding cells.

By the end of the day an estimated 500,000 people had been affected by the disruptions and 290 activists had been arrested in London.

APRIL 17

Two activists climbed onto the roof of a Docklands Light Railway train at Canary Wharf station whilst another glued himself to the side, spreading disruption to railway services. 

A large force of police marched on the camp at Parliament Square, arresting people and partially removing roadblocks before it was retaken later the same night by protesters.

APRIL 18

Some 428 people had been arrested at this point. 

APRIL 19

A dozen teenagers, some aged 13 and 14, walked to the Healthrow access road holding a banner which read ‘Are we the last generation?’ They were surrounded by police.

By late that evening 682 people had so far been arrested in London during the course of the demonstrations.

APRIL 25    

London Stock Exchange is blockaded by protestors who glued themselved to the entrance while wearing LED signs.

Four protesters climbed on to a Docklands Light Railway train at Canary Wharf.

Activists gathered at Hyde Park to mark an end to the 11-day protest.

JULY 13 – 14

A weekend of protest in East London included a mass bike ride, traffic blockades and talks at London Fields.

SEPTEMBER 14

London Fashion Week was targetted with Victoria Beckham’s show interupted by a swarm of demonstrators. 

SEPTEMBER 15 

200 people gathered for a ‘funeral march’ from a H&M in Trafalgar Square to a fashion week venue in The Strand.

SEPTEMBER 21

Tried to blockade the Port of Dover by marching on the A20. 

OCTOBER 3

Fire engine was used to spray fake blood around HM Treasury in central London.

OCTOBER 6

Opening ceremony held at Marble Arch was attended by a thousand protesters.

OCTOBER 7

Thousands of people blocked central London with various demonstrations.

DECEMBER 4

Half a dozen activists dressed in yellow-and-black bee outfits held an action during the Liberal Democrats election campaign in Streatham, south London.

DECEMBER 9 

Activists blockaded a central London road to demand the next government tackles air pollution in London. 

FEBRUARY 17

Extinction Rebellion members of the University of Cambridge assembled to dig up a patch of lawn outside of Trinity College.  

Advertisement

‘It’s a complete waste of officers’ time, and a complete pain in the neck. If they could just behave like sensible adults – you’ve made your point, you wanted to be arrested, you’ve been arrested, get up and walk away with one officer and stop wasting police time. 

‘This is a real issue, and they will not do it, and it is a flipping nuisance.’   

The police officer added: ‘The problem with them going floppy and four officers carrying them away is that it looks to the general public like the police are overreacting here.

‘We’re not making them go floppy – they’re just being a nuisance.’

Earlier this month, Extinction Rebellion activists held ten days of protest in central London, with the latest figures from the Met showing that 680 people had been arrested.  

These were for alleged offences including obstructing the highway, criminal damage and breaching the legal conditions set on the demonstration.

This month activists were also blasted by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson for ‘attacking free speech’ after they chained themselves to the gates of Newsprinters in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. 

Protestors also blocked access to the presses in Knowsley, Liverpool, on the same evening. 

A total of 20 activists have each been fined £10,000 for their involvement in the protest, the Met Police said.

Following the scenes, the Prime Minister said: ‘A free press is vital in holding the government and other powerful institutions to account on issues critical for the future of our country, including the fight against climate change.

‘It is completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public’s access to news in this way.’   

In a speech delivered to the Police Superintendents Association after the protest, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was committed to helping police deal with ‘so-called eco-crusaders turned criminals.’

She said: ‘Attempting to thwart the media’s right to publish without fear nor favour.

‘And a shameful attack on our way of life, our economy and the livelihoods of the hard-working majority. I refuse point-blank to allow that kind of anarchy on our streets.’

She blasted those who took part in the demonstration for being a ‘selfish minority’. 

‘The very criminals who disrupt our free society must be stopped,’ she added. ‘Together we must all stand firm against the guerrilla tactics of Extinction Rebellion.

‘That means adapting to the threat they pose and ensuring justice is served. Now in policing, you have a whole range of powers at your disposal, and of course they should be used.’ 

Labour leader Keir Starmer also hit out at XR’s ‘counterproductive’ protests to stop the printing press.

He warned the environmental group’s newspaper blockade had cost it public sympathy.

The stunt happened on September 4, and left some newsagents’ shelves empty the following morning. It sparked outrage across parties. 

During a listener phone-in with LBC radio, Sir Keir admitted he had not admonished a few of his own backbench MPs who spoke out in support of the action.

They included former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, who told Sky News XR was using ‘legal tactics’ in the same vein as Suffragette protests.

Fellow MP Dawn Butler called the blockade ‘excellent work’ in a tweet that was later deleted. 

Asked about their comments, Sir Keir said: ‘I haven’t directly spoken to either of them about it – I disagree with them.

‘Obviously people will have different opinions but my strong opinion is this was counterproductive, it was wrong and we shouldn’t miss the bigger picture here which is that climate change is a very important issue and we do need to shine a light on that but this is the wrong way to do it.’

He added that XR’s tactics were likely to have put ‘people off’ supporting their efforts to raise awareness about climate change and the impact of increasing temperatures.

‘The tactics and the action of Extinction Rebellion, particularly blockading newspapers, was just wrong in my view and counterproductive,’ the former director of public prosecutions said.

‘A free press is a cornerstone of our democracy and people should be able to read the newspaper that they want to read.

‘I actually think it was counterproductive, I think it put more people off than brought people on.

Extinction Rebellion protestors should 'stop wasting police time' when being arrested, a senior officer has said. Pictured: An activist uses floppy tactics as they are carried away by officers

Extinction Rebellion protestors should ‘stop wasting police time’ when being arrested, a senior officer has said. Pictured: An activist uses floppy tactics as they are carried away by officers

Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Steve House (pictured) explained that floppy tactics used by the climate change group were a 'complete pain in the neck'

Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Steve House (pictured) explained that floppy tactics used by the climate change group were a ‘complete pain in the neck’

‘The test of this is actually is it persuading people that this cause is the right cause and make them more likely to take action themselves in the way they go about their everyday lives and I actually think this action was counterproductive.

Priti Patel (pictured) said she was committed to helping police deal with XR

Priti Patel (pictured) said she was committed to helping police deal with XR

‘I suspect there are more people now who are less sympathetic than there were before.’

Sir Keir said it was ‘rubbish’ that he had been slow to condemn the actions of the protest movement.

Labour’s media spokeswoman Jo Stevens put out the party’s official statement condemning the actions following the blockade but Tory MPs were critical that the comments were not issued under Sir Keir’s name.

‘The Labour Party put out a line, that’s what we do, but I in fact put out a line myself anyway,’ he told LBC. 

Since Priti Patel became Home Secretary last year, 4,300 police officers have been recruited nationally.

The Home Office aims to recruit 20,000 more by 2023.

Extinction Rebellion describes itself as ‘a politically non-partisan international movement that uses non-violent direct action to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.’

An XR stunt happened at printing works in Hertfordshire on September 4, and left some newsagents' shelves empty the following morning

An XR stunt happened at printing works in Hertfordshire on September 4, and left some newsagents’ shelves empty the following morning

A note on its website revealed the group try to communicate with police ‘except for the case where a small group is trying to do a specific action that needs the element of surprise’.

They said: ‘We have made some decisions about security and our interactions with the police. 

‘We have made a strategic decision to communicate with the police about what we are doing when we believe that is more likely to enable things to go well (which we can’t always be sure of). 

In an LBC phone-in, Labour leader Keir Starmer warned that the environmental group's blockade had cost it public sympathy

In an LBC phone-in, Labour leader Keir Starmer warned that the environmental group’s blockade had cost it public sympathy

‘Except for the case where a small group is trying to do a specific action that needs the element of surprise, we generally don’t try to be secure in our communications about plans. 

‘We expect that we have been infiltrated by those without our best interests at heart and suggest people bear this in mind.’

The Met Police has been contacted for comment.     

WHAT IS EXTINCTION REBELLION AND WHAT DO THEY WANT? 

‘Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and the risk of social collapse,’ according to its website’s ‘about’ page.

The environmentalist protest group held its first demonstration in Parliament Square on October 31, 2018.

The worldwide group want to change the structure of power to take authority away from central governments. 

Its website reads: ‘We understand that we must self-organise to meet our own needs, which in the context of Extinction Rebellion means that we are working to equalise power by disrupting the usual pillars of power that govern our lives.’

The environmentalist protest group held its first demonstration in Parliament Square on October 31, 2018

The environmentalist protest group held its first demonstration in Parliament Square on October 31, 2018

Since 2018 members of the group have gathered at London Fashion Week, the House of Commons and various other locations around central London.

On the morning of Wednesday, April 17, 2019, two activists climbed onto the roof of a Docklands Light Railway train at Canary Wharf station whilst another glued himself to the side, spreading disruption to railway services.

The following day the three activists were charged with obstructing trains. After pleading not guilty they were sent to jail for four weeks, with no bail, whilst awaiting their next hearing.

On February 17 2020, Extinction Rebellion members of the University of Cambridge dug up a patch of lawn outside Trinity College, as a protest against its investment in oil and gas companies. The mud dug up was later taken to a local branch of Halifax.    

Advertisement

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.