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Monday 4th November 2019 | Jake

Extinction Rebellion (XR) have continued their protests, despite the police banning them from protesting in London. The decision by the police was widely criticised, and was ignored by many protestors. XR had scheduled mid-October as another ‘week of action’, during which they organise protests and civil disobedience.

The ban started off a bad month for XR, who were criticised for targeting TfL and public transport. Nonetheless there was widespread support for activists as they defied the ban to their right to protest. The group is now in the process of setting up a judicial review of the ban, in the hope it will be lifted. The Metropolitan Police say they were forced into action by “continued breaches” by XR of a set of conditions in place for their protests.

The Met were arresting protestors under Section 14 of the Public Order Act. The writer George Monbiot was arrested under this act, while the co-leader of the Green Party, Jonathan Bartley, was also arrested (they were released later that same day). XR’s co-founder, Gail Bradbrook, joined them for a short spell in the cells for her part in protests at the Department for Transport HQ.

The London ban comes after the Home Office confirmed to the BBC that they were looking into police powers regarding protest. However, the Met’s latest exercise in testing its powers should warn them from further cracking down. Amnesty International called the ban "an unlawful restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly".