UK: Rights experts warn peaceful protest is under threat

UK: Rights experts warn peaceful protest is under threat

Civil liberties group, Liberty, has said that legitimate and peaceful protests in the UK could be under threat from forceful and pre-emptive police tactics.

This claim comes after environmental campaigners at this week’s Extinctions Rebellion demonstrations were faced with pre-emptive arrest and “unworkable restrictions”.

The Guardian reported that more than 200 campaigners have been arrested so far at London’s climate change protests this week.

Liberty’s interim director, Gracie Bradley, told the Guardian: “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. These restrictions are heavy-handed and go too far.”

She added: “These tactics are not new but they are damaging as they undermine our right to protest by reframing it as a public nuisance.

“Peaceful protest is a core pillar of any healthy democracy, and it is vital it is protected whatever the cause.”

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