London court rules in favor of Extinction Rebellion protests | News | DW | 06.11.2019
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London court rules in favor of Extinction Rebellion protests

Extinction Rebellion has won a legal challenge in London's High Court against a police-imposed blanket ban on the group's protests. Judges said separate gatherings could not be defined as a single "public assembly."

Extinction Rebellion won a High Court challenge on Wednesday against London's Metropolitan Police.

Last month authorities banned the environmental activists from protests across the British capital, prohibiting two or more people from participating in demonstrations dubbed the "autumn uprising."

Read more: Opinion: Freedom of speech in Germany — be mainstream or be quiet

However, judges have now ruled that decision "unlawful."

Mr Justice Dingemans said: "Separate gatherings, separated both in time and by many miles, even if coordinated under the umbrella of one body, are not a public assembly within the meaning of ... the act."

"The Extinction Rebellion autumn uprising was not therefore a public assembly … therefore the decision to impose the condition was unlawful because there was no power to impose it under … the act."

Green Party MEP Ellie Chowns, who herself was arrested during the protests, described it as an "immense victory" and said that now it was time "to tackle the climate emergency with the urgency it deserves."

London police made 1,457 Extinction Rebellion related arrests during last month's week-long protests. The climate change group said similar numbers of people had been detained in some 20 cities across the globe. Events took place in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

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