Activists from environmental organization Extinction Rebellion (XR) have launched legal action after police banned them from protesting in London.
The group has been protesting in cities around the world, as part of a two-week action intended to force the government into tackling the climate crisis.
The Metropolitan Police announced new restrictions under Section 14 of the Public Order Act on Monday, requiring activists to stop protesting in central London by 9pm that day or risk arrest. This follows around 1,600 arrests.
According to police, the ban follows ‘continued breaches’ of the conditions limiting protestors to Trafalgar Square.
But this ban has been criticized by many, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who said: “The right to peaceful and lawful protest must always be upheld.”
Now XR’s lawyers have submitted an application to the High Court for a judicial review, in the hopes the court will quash the ban.
An XR statement said: “This move by the Met is an unprecedented attempt to curtail peaceful protest. In response to this, we have taken the first steps towards a judicial review – our lawyers have delivered a ‘Letter before Action’ to the Met and asked for an immediate response.
“This erosion of democracy is an assault on our fundamental right to protest…It is during these moments that we must seek strength through coming together.”