Extinction Rebellion Banned in London
The Metropolitan Police made the announcement Monday evening, and immediately began to clear the protest encampments from Trafalgar Square, which had previously been designated as a legitimate protest area, according to The Guardian.
"Any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion 'Autumn Uprising'…must now cease their protest(s) within London (Metropolitan Police Service, and City of London areas) by 2100hrs [on Monday] 14th October 2019," the police announcement said.
Protestors were given 30 minutes warning to leave Trafalgar Square Monday night, 71-year-old demonstrator Pam Williams told BBC News.
Extinction Rebellion said they would "let Trafalgar Square go," but a few activists like Williams decided to glue themselves to the ground and face arrest.
"I feel possibly that they've been approached by people we've upset today, maybe the finance sector or the banking sector," Williams said, referring to a protest earlier Monday that blocked the crosswalk outside the Bank of England. "I'm refusing to leave and I've glued myself to the ground."
Among those arrested in Trafalgar Square Monday night was Green Party Member of European Parliament Ellie Chowns.
"The rules have been changed," Chowns said, according to BBC News. "No longer is any space in London allowable for peaceful democratic protest. This is intolerable."
In a democracy we have a right to peaceful protest— Ellie Chowns MEP (@EllieChownsMEP) October 14, 2019
Tonight I stood in solidarity with the @ExtinctionR protestors in Trafalgar Square 🌻
I exercised my right to protest and have been arrested alongside brave climate activists
This is a #climateemergency❗️ pic.twitter.com/mKADyDZZQp
The police issued the ban under Section 14 of the Public Order Act of 1986, which gives police the authority to impose restrictions such as place, duration and number of participants on any assembly that "may result in serious public disorder," property damage or intimidation.
But Network for Police Monitoring coordinator Kevin Blowe told The Guardian that the ban did not follow due process, because such bans are supposed to be made by the home secretary. He also explained why he thought the ban could face a challenge in court:
"Our reading of it is that the section 14 powers are supposed to be used with caution because people still have a right to protest and potentially this is unlawful, and there is no other way to put it. Take a look at what section 14 says: it's about restricting a number of people for a particular duration of time. My feeling is that this has to be open to some form of potential legal challenge."
As of Monday, London police had arrested 1,445 people and charged 76 in relation to the ongoing extinction rebellion protests.
The demonstrators are demanding that the UK government declare a climate emergency, halt biodiversity loss and achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and convene a Citizens' Assembly to oversee these changes.
"The Climate and Ecological Emergency isn't going away and we remain resolute in facing it," the group wrote in a response to the police ban. "We urge the Government and the authorities to join us in doing the same. We cannot do it alone. This is bigger than all of us."
#ExtinctionRebellion break the law in careful & deliberate ways, fully understanding the consequences of action being taken.— Extinction Rebellion London (@XRLondon) October 14, 2019
Today, an unprecedented, political, decision has been taken to shut down peaceful protest calling out the government for inaction in the face of crisis. pic.twitter.com/H9UbAnl5Ua
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>
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