13 November 2019
Leading Salisbury Green Party members have welcomed yesterday's High Court decision that police acted illegally in attempting to ban all Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrations in London last month.
The court struck down a blanket order made by Metropolitan Police which sought to outlaw any assembly of more than two XR members anywhere in London.
“This is a huge victory for freedom of assembly and the right to demonstrate,” said the Greens' parliamentary candidate in Salisbury, Rick Page, who is a former council member of the civil rights organisation Liberty. “The police clearly exceeded their powers and acted unlawfully and unreasonably.”
The Greens' former candidate Brig Oubridge and his wife Loppy were both arrested in Whitehall during the XR “Rebellion” in October, but will not benefit from the High Court decision. They were arrested during the first week of demonstrations under an earlier order which covered only a limited area around Westminster and face a wait of up to six months to see if they will be charged.
“I am very pleased about the High Court decision,” said Brig Oubridge, “But I would also question whether the earlier order was lawful. The 1986 Public Order Act, under which these orders were issued, is designed to prevent violent disorder, and I do not believe it was appropriate to use it against the XR demonstrations which were entirely peaceful and non-violent.”
“The real point is that by being prepared to be arrested, XR 'rebels' have succeeded in putting the climate emergency and species extinction at the top of the political agenda where it belongs,” added Loppy Oubridge, “We intend to keep it there in the election campaign.”