Police Federation: British Police Fear Arresting Climate Protestors

West Midlands Police Museum / CC BY-SA

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to Police Federation chairman John Apter, a recent court ruling has placed police who arrest climate protestors at potential risk of legal repercussions.

Officers Fear Arresting Extinction Rebellion Vandals over Threat of Legal Reprisals: Police Representative


Chairman of the Police Federation, which represents the concerns of rank-and-file officers, John Apter said that members across the country had expressed concern that if they attempted to arrest the protesters that they would be sued and face financial penalties.

The concerns arose after the High Court ruled against the Metropolitan Police force’s order banning the crippling XR protests in London, with green advocates claiming that they could sue the force for retroactive wrongful arrests.

“We’re damned whatever we do,” Mr Apter said in comments reported by The Times.

The Police Federation chief said officers were “clearly very mindful of potential legal action. The government has promised we will get the support that we need [but] it’s going to be on the minds of senior officers who will not want to fall on the wrong side of a previous judgment.

Read more: https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/02/19/police-fear-arresting-extinction-rebellion-vandals-fear-legal-reprisals/

There has already been at least one well documented instance of ordinary people fed up with Extinction Rebellion taking the law into their own hands, beating up climate protestors.

If the police feel unable to restore order, and I’m deeply sympathetic to the problems the police are facing, this will further exacerbate the risk of violent confrontation between climate protestors and their victims.

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February 21, 2020 6:10 pm

What exactly is the point of the British police?

They’ll send a dozen out to sit with a radar gun stopping drivers, but they won’t do anything about real criminals.

It’s literally anarcho-tyranny over there.

Reply to  MarkG
February 21, 2020 7:13 pm

But if you don’t have your TV licence paid up, boy are you up the creek in troubles…I would like to see them try and implement something like that in Texas.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Earthling2
February 21, 2020 8:16 pm

The Police have nothing to do with collecting TV license fee, that is handled by a private company with support of the Police if they fear something criminal might happen. 10mph over the speed limit and you are banned for a year.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 21, 2020 8:27 pm

“10mph over the speed limit and you are banned for a year.”
Over here 10 over the limit is the normal speed!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  JimK
February 21, 2020 8:52 pm

I was exaggerating a little but you get my point.


It’s worth the 4 minutes to watch.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 23, 2020 1:01 pm

Yes, Crapita handle the licence fee collection. If you don’t have one they send a letter every 3 months to threaten you and to make you laugh sometimes it says ‘will you be in on 10 March (or some date)’ but of course they won’t be calling on you as it costs money to send people out to visit.

Dodgy Geezer
Reply to  MarkG
February 21, 2020 8:37 pm

I think it’s much the same in the US. Getting money in through fines or confiscation is always going to be a priority….

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
February 22, 2020 7:47 am

“YUP”, and in DC it is “top priority” …… and extremely lucrative ta boot.

‘Predatory’ DC government issues record $1B in fines to drivers: report

Reply to  MarkG
February 22, 2020 1:08 am

They can sit in their nice warm offices looking on the internet for hate crime. Meanwhile criminals are allowed to get away with murder (literally).

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  MarkG
February 22, 2020 1:56 am

Actually, they police our tweets, not our streets, and find ‘hate crimes’ everywhere. Almost 20000 per year, that’s about 50 each day. Go figure.

Watch the video.


Reply to  MarkG
February 22, 2020 5:17 am

The British police are more interested in going after hardened criminals, like Scottish guys teaching a pug how to do a nazi salute, and grannies writing hate speech like ‘men are not women’ on the internet. Also, don’t forget how much time they have to spend keeping assault spoons and butter knives off the streets.

Reply to  MarkG
February 22, 2020 8:18 am

MarkG, stopping & ticketing drivers pays their salaries…..

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  beng135
February 22, 2020 9:37 am

A former bobby, later a weapons instructor in other countries, told me that they were given, as a street team, a target of 6.66 tickets (per week per team).

The the idea of a quota is correct – don’t let them convince you otherwise. I am a descendant somehow of a Bo Street Runner and have his truncheon in the cabinet. A small knock is surprisingly painful. Perhaps when it comes to the anarchists I had best be ready to defend myself.

That said, the members of the public who cleared one of the Alberta rail crossing blockages when the police refused to do anything about the court order to vacate, have been accused of “vigilantism”. Well, all action by the public before the creation of police forces were “vigilants in action”. A neighbourhood watch is nothing more than those who are vigilant keeping watch. In fact they used to be called Watchmen, “policing” the area. Citizens have to fill in where the watchmen are timid.

Those wishing to be vigilants should brush up on how to legally make a citizen’s arrest. It may come in handy when the police are too afraid for their pensions to act.

Reply to  MarkG
February 22, 2020 10:04 am

The problem is that the real criminals have the support of the government.

February 21, 2020 6:20 pm

declare martial law..then call in the military and let them have at it

February 21, 2020 6:25 pm

Maybe the British Police will wake up when things get as bad as in Canada:


Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
February 21, 2020 8:47 pm


Regarding government inaction to stop illegal and destructive demonstrators in Britain and Canada – if you or I did this we would be in jail – but the Antifa thugs get a free pass to sabotage our countries’ economies.

Why? Because that is our governments’ covert agenda.

police https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/02/17/delingpole-why-is-boris-johnson-allowing-eco-fascists-to-run-riot-in-britain/#comment-2919657

“Shockingly, almost unbelievably, instead of clearing away Extinction Rebellion’s makeshift roadblock, the local police have actually chosen to formalise the protest by using their own ’emergency police powers’ to close roads officially. Buses have been diverted. ‘Pedestrians and cyclists will not be affected’, the Cambridge Police Twitter account tells us primly and with, perhaps, a hint of relish at being able to participate in this orgy of environmental virtue-signalling.”
– James Delingpole in the UK

The Calgary Police did the same thing last week, aiding and protecting the Klimate Kriminals who blocked a main road into the downtown. This is most unusual conduct for the Calgary Police Service, who are probably the most brutal and violent police force in the western world.

Severe beatings of civilians by Calgary cops are routine for failing to immediately obey their commands. Then the cops charge the victims with assault, and lie with impunity about the event.

In 2016 and again in 2018 Calgary cops shot ~10 civilians, mostly unarmed young adults. This despite a formal inquiry in 2017 that recommended that the cops needed “better training” to reduce the needless cop-slaughter of Calgary’s young citizens.

Remarkably, a civilian is ~10 times more likely to be shot and killed by a Calgary cop than a cop in the USA, and the USA routinely has armed civilians. whereas our civilians are unarmed, polite and have a Pavlovian-apology-reflex… “Sorry… Sorry… Sorry…” .

At a minimum, Calgary cops should be trained to say “Sorry” when they shoot an unarmed civilian. After all, “Manners maketh man.”

Craig from Oz
Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
February 21, 2020 9:53 pm

Not from sabotage (I hope) but a train derailed in Victoria, Australia this week.

Two killed.

You want to protest? Get some cardboard and a street corner and stop putting people’s lives at risk.

February 21, 2020 6:25 pm

British police confronting a criminal: STOP!! Or I’ll… say STOP, again.

John in Oz
Reply to  SMC
February 21, 2020 8:33 pm

Let’s hope protests never degenerate to the state whereby the police have to resort to blowing their whistles

Reply to  John in Oz
February 22, 2020 4:44 am

John in Oz

Sadly, when I joined the job in the 70’s, none of this would have been tolerated.

How times change.

February 21, 2020 6:26 pm

There’s a reason they’re called plod.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 22, 2020 4:59 am

Eric Worrall

I left the job after 11 years in Strathclyde Police and moved to Kent in the late 80’s.

I was attacked in broad daylight, on a slip road off the A2 on a Friday night during rush hour by three thugs with clubs. They rammed my car.

Only one person stopped, a lady who witnessed the whole thing. We must have been passed by a couple of hundred cars as I fought them off and chased them with one of their own clubs.

I reported it to the Police along with the witnesses details.

I had torn off one of the assailants shirts and had the make, model and registration number of the vehicle as well as detailed descriptions of them.

Photographs were taken of the weals on my head and back where they had beaten me.

When I inquired a few days later what was happening I was told the Police couldn’t find the shirt or club at the locus so I went and looked, they were still there. I marched into the Police office with them and demanded they do their job. I seem to remember some swearing was involved.

A week or so later I saw the car again in South London so followed it to the driver/assailants home where I watched him enter the front door with a key. Obviously his home.

I went to the Police office again and recited the incident.

Some time later I called to find out what was happening. I was told they had visited the address but the father of the youth told them he didn’t live there.

That was it. Case closed.

I sent the lady who stopped a large bouquet of flowers.

Reply to  HotScot
February 22, 2020 5:34 am

Hi HotScot,

Sorry to hear of your assault. In Calgary our police just go through the motions, but rarely do anything – but if you persist in your complaints they will beat you, falsely vilify you and/or imprison you – so you got off easy.

In these circumstances I would suggest dealing with it yourself and not bother the police with such trivial matters as violent assaults by thugs – the police are too busy protecting thug demonstrators. It helps if you are a handyman – a do it “yourself-er” – sort of. 🙂

Regarding government inaction to stop illegal and destructive demonstrators in Britain and Canada – if you or I did this we would be in jail – but the Antifa thugs get a free pass to sabotage our countries’ economies.

Why? Because that is our governments’ covert agenda.

By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., September 20, 2019

February 22, 2020 5:58 pm

ALLAN, my friend.

I accept you council with considerable gravity. You are a voice in the wilderness we should all heed.

I recited that tale because nearly 30 years ago our lawful state was failing even then.

In my short time as a copper we would have pulled out all the stops has one of our own been assaulted, be they serving or retired. Someone would have gone down had they been as brutally assaulted as I was.

And I must say that during the assault I felt no fear, because I believed that no matter the outcome, my former colleagues would do their utmost to avenge me.

I was sadly disappointed.

Today, I wouldn’t hesitate to continue my pursuit of those thugs and beat them to a pulp with the very weapons they drew against me. Indeed, if the same event happened today, were I allowed to carry a sidearm, I wouldn’t hesitate to use it.

I was also subject to an assault from a neighbours drugged up son some years later. He attempted to kick in our front door one night. I dealt with him appropriately, but was restrained by neighbours. The police accepted his side of the story (unbelievably) and were about to cart me off to jail until I demanded they listened to my side of the story.

In other words, victim status rules supreme, aided by Police incompetence. I wasn’t jailed, but many without my robust approach and knowledge of Police procedure may have been.

I’m now ashamed to be associated with the neutered organisation I was once proud to be a member of.

And I should add here that we live in a quiet village on the outskirts of London. This is no inner city ghetto.

I don’t think many truly understand what the thin blue line protects us from. Or at least used to.

We were the dividing line between sober debate and anarchy. Our methods were often crude, and sometimes brutal when I served, but we stood our ground to ensure everyone who cared to express it, had a Democratic voice.

I don’t think many of us realised the value we contributed to Democracy, we thought we were just nicking criminals. But in my later years I have begun to realise what a significant role the Police play in the jigsaw of freedom.

As young, gung ho, probationary coppers we had one thing hammered home to us; that to deprive someone of their liberty meant that we were thereafter responsible for their welfare.

That is something rarely recognised by those who criticise the police.

It remains the only power the police have, that no other force in the UK can routinely exercise.

But our political masters cannot exhibit a knee jerk response to anarchists like xr. They must walk the tightrope of legitimate free expression and anarchy, and coppers must follow their directives.

We are now in the era of politicised policing. Something I never contemplated during my service.

Asian rape gangs are patrolling our streets, rather than honest to God Police officers.

Something must be done amongst out political elite to address this morally corrupt imbalance.

February 23, 2020 9:27 am

HotScot & Allan, thanks for the sobering accounts. The descent of cultures — it’s happened before many times unfortunately….

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Eric Worrall
February 22, 2020 6:53 am

“I feel sorry for the police – the situation in Britain is insane.”

You have to blame it on the politicians and on those who promote the human-caused climate change disaster hoax.

I have never seen so many delusional politicians in my life and a large portion of this delusion has to do with the CAGW hoax. They are allowing the protestors/criminals to run wild and justifying it in their minds because their delusions say human existence is on the verge of disaster. So what’s a little street protest or two compared to that.

Over here in the U.S. we have a solution for three thugs with clubs: Our buddies Smith & Wesson will assist us in this fight.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 23, 2020 2:57 pm

Tom Abbott

Even on that night I wouldn’t have resorted to messrs. Smith and Wesson because I had confidence in our UK Police force. It was however, sadly misplaced.

Today, I would have no hesitation in that security were we allowed free access to sidearms in the UK.

My abiding principle now is to ensure that anyone who f*cks with me or my family will never contemplate doing so again.

I’m older now, 63, 6’2″ and over 280lbs, I can still do someone serious damage, I would now rather dispense with the juvenile bravado, and just shoot them, walk away and reload.

The laws in the UK mean that whilst ones child runs the risk of being stabbed, or indeed (rarely to date) shot on a night out, it is considered illegal for his/her Mum to trail them through the night carrying a cricket bat.

Bizarrely, if you are carrying a Golf club around in the middle of the night, it’s now down to you to prove it’s not an offensive weapon. Irrespective of your impeccable social and moral record, you are considered guilty until proven innocent.

I run the risk of being jailed for carrying the Sgian-dubh, a traditional, short, fixed blade knife carried in the hose of a Scotsman whilst dressed in his traditional attire.

Indian Sikhs have been granted exemption from carrying a knife, not dissimilar, because it represents a religious symbol of their society. Similarly, they are allowed to ride motorcycles when they are wearing Turbans, rather than helmets.

Nor do I object to these peaceful warriors their rights to these freedoms. I just expect those rights to be enjoyed by all Britons.

Allow us the legitimate right, and training (vital, not the use of, but the legality of operation) to carry sidearms in the UK, and there would be far fewer deaths caused by criminals.

Peaceful people don’t use weapons they carry, for anything other than self defence.

February 21, 2020 6:31 pm

Misgender the wrong person on Twitter and they’ll have the helicopter over your house in minutes

February 21, 2020 6:38 pm

By losing its High Court to the globalist NWO, the UK has lost its sovereignty. Sometime in the near future what will follow is the replacement of the local police with military troops on the streets and the policy of “see something say something” will be mandated under penalty of law. The English don’t seem to own their country anymore…

Linda Goodman
Reply to  marlene
February 21, 2020 6:49 pm

Exactly right, Marlene. And if the 2016 election had gone as planned the same would be happening in America.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Linda Goodman
February 22, 2020 7:09 am

Oh, yes! If Hillary had won the presidency in 2016, the U.S. would be on the same “Road to Ruin” as is Europe and Canada, and Australia and New Zealand, over the demonization of CO2.

Reply to  marlene
February 21, 2020 7:22 pm

Don’t blame the court, it’s up to politicians to make laws that the court can enforce.

Phils Dad
Reply to  LdB
February 21, 2020 7:30 pm

If only that were so. Recently, under the deliciously macabre Lady Hale, the courts have done their best to thwart the will of the people even when the government was fighting for them. The common law system pretty much allows the courts free reign (or “free from political influence” depending on your point of view).

John Robertson
February 21, 2020 6:50 pm

Police know what to do.
Get the coordinates wrong for the protest location.
Without them to protect the fools and bandits,this nonsense will resolve itself.
When sued for not protecting their lawless clients,they can blame the new software on their GPS devices.
Right now the only thing preventing a very public reeducation of entitled morons is the police.
Now they know they have no support from either the politicians and the courts,they may as well take a whole lot of sick days..Like the rest of their “Public Service” comrades.

Of course the court ruling certainly breaches the social contract.between public and plod.

Phils Dad
Reply to  John Robertson
February 21, 2020 7:11 pm

You are quite right John (and marlene above), the problem here is the courts not the police.

To MarkG (first to post) who asks “What exactly is the point of the British police?” 2018-2019 statistics show the murder rate in the UK (deaths per million population) at 1/5 that of the USA. If that’s “anarcho-tyranny” I’ll take it; but I hope, on this site at least, facts will trump emotional outbursts.
(no pun intended)

February 21, 2020 7:03 pm

If the British police remain as inert as they are now there may soon be some very nasty accidents occurring to a few Extinction Rebellion Vandals and the Police will be totally unable to find any witnesses to the incidents.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
February 21, 2020 9:38 pm

No. If the law-abiding decide to take the law into their own hands, the police will come down on them with the full force of the state.

Like I said, it’s anarcho-tyranny. Freedom for the anarchists, tyranny for the law-abiding.

This is intentional behaviour, to demoralize the population.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  MarkG
February 21, 2020 9:43 pm

That is a good account of what is happening in the UK and many other countries such as Aus and NZ. Next, we’ll all be moved in to gulags of “work camps” and carbon will be rationed.

Greg Woods
Reply to  MarkG
February 22, 2020 1:39 am

The inmates are running the asylum…

Martin Howard Keith Brumby
February 21, 2020 7:05 pm

Since the 2008 Kingsnorth Power Station Greenpeace ‘protests’, it has been absolutely obvious that the Government and the Judiciary have been hand in glove together to avoid being disobliging to GangGreen.

Both Government and the Judiciary have also been continually ‘in touch’ with GangGreen representatives.

So the ordinary, normal, British people are yet again betrayed by the ‘elite’ Swamp Dwellers.

I wouldn’t doubt that this hasn’t made life easier for the many normal and sensible coppers, who would no doubt be only too happy to protect the Public.

It is notable firstly that Prime Ministers Cameron and Johnson have been literally ‘sleeping with the enemy’.

Secondly, that this isn’t too different from the police”s treatment of the organised Muslim gang rape groups, who were free to target British and Sikh little girls with impunity, for a generation, with the connivance of almost all politicians, social workers, teachers and the press, until the Rotherham crisis erupted, a couple of years ago. Even today, the continual stream of perpetrators are just inappropriately described as ‘Asians’. Even today many cannot even be named. As Tommy Robinson found out, even filming convicted (but unsentenced perpetrators, out on bail), resulted in being flung behind bars in a predominately Muslim jail, in just five hours.

Don’t imagine the police and the establishment can’t act when it’s someone they don’t like!

How many ordinary British people are heavily fined or even jailed for not paying £154.50 for watching (or even not watching) the BBC’s incessant agitprop?

Compare and contrast.

Reply to  Martin Howard Keith Brumby
February 22, 2020 6:25 am

Why are violent assaults including gang-rapes of children and women not being reported by the media or prosecuted by the police? Governments cannot be this stupid for this long – they have a covert agenda.

In the big picture, there is a common theme in the far-left’s destruction of reliable energy systems, the destruction of economies, the destruction of families and the destruction of rule of law.

Occam’s Razor dictates the rational explanation: This must be the governments’ covert agenda – to demoralize and destroy western societies.

By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., September 20, 2019

Martin wrote:
“Secondly, that this isn’t too different from the police’s treatment of the organised Muslim gang rape groups, who were free to target British and Sikh little girls with impunity, for a generation, with the connivance of almost all politicians, social workers, teachers and the press, until the Rotherham crisis erupted, a couple of years ago. Even today, the continual stream of perpetrators are just inappropriately described as ‘Asians’. Even today many cannot even be named. As Tommy Robinson found out, even filming convicted (but unsentenced perpetrators, out on bail), resulted in being flung behind bars in a predominately Muslim jail, in just five hours.
Don’t imagine the police and the establishment can’t act when it’s someone they don’t like!”

I wrote in 2019:

Rule of Law has apparently ceased in Germany, and is at risk elsewhere as well. Violent thugs roam at will. Public cowardice and deceit has not served Germany well – now or in the past.

Consider the reprehensible events on New Year’s Eve ~four years ago in Cologne and other German cities. German police failed to control the situation and the German government and media suppressed the stories for days afterwards – disgraceful cowardice by all involved.

It is long past time to get tough with all manner of thugs in all countries. Otherwise, why employ the police at all? Are the police just here to harass law-abiding citizens for minor infractions, or what?

What are the police actually doing to put these thugs in jail? Do your job or get out of the way!


During the 2015/2016 New Year’s Eve celebrations, there were mass sexual assaults, 24 alleged rapes and numerous thefts in Germany, mainly in Cologne city center. There were similar incidents at the public celebrations in Hamburg, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Bielefeld and Frankfurt. For all of Germany, police estimated in a document leaked in 2016 that 1,200 women were sexually assaulted and that at least 2,000 men were involved, often acting in groups.

February 21, 2020 7:10 pm

Sinse when is someone liable personally, for doing the job his employer orders him to do? Especially a police officer? Is this really what’s happening in the UK? If so’, they can say their country goodbye.

Reply to  Scarface
February 21, 2020 7:19 pm

Newsflash ScarFace

You can’t be order to break the law by an employer in 99% of countries.
In most of those same countries you are also not shielded from criminal prosecution simply because you felt your job was threatened if they did not commit the act.

I believe USA has some laws around police but most countries don’t.

Reply to  LdB
February 21, 2020 7:33 pm

This will not end well then. How can a government not protect its policeforce from the people they ordered them to stop or arrest. That is beyond anything rational. That’s insane!

Reply to  Scarface
February 21, 2020 10:07 pm

The police can stop and arrest anyone so long as they remain within the laws given to them to make such an arrest. You are making a mountain out of a molehill.

The situation with the protestors is simple the police just need to make sure they have actually broken a law, being a nuisance is not enough. If the politicians and public want more control then they enact more laws that is how the system works.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  LdB
February 21, 2020 10:28 pm

“LdB February 21, 2020 at 10:07 pm

The police can stop and arrest anyone…”

Nope! Having worked for the NSW Police Force, that is incorrect. You can be stopped by a SWORN officer (Usually carrying weapons) and asked for ID on the street. True. You are not breaking the law if you have no ID on you (In Australia, UK, NZ etc. Belgium on the other hand, you are legally required to carry ID). They cannot arrest without a reason to do so. If pulled over by a highway police officer, he needs to have reason to do that (Traffic offence).

Reply to  LdB
February 22, 2020 12:21 pm

Ah ok, so what is the problem then? Maybe I should ask the author of this blog post, after all the headline reads:

“Police Federation: British Police Fear Arresting Climate Protestors”

Fake news?

February 21, 2020 7:15 pm

People have been slowly and methodically led to believe that the minority is more important and to think otherwise is to be anti ….. well, anti everything. Climate Change is a good example. Polls have continually showed that most people put CC at the bottom of their grievance list yet it continually receives top billing in the media and political theater. It does because the media puts it there and anyone that believes the media isn’t bought and intentionally biased is naive. Thank God for the internet and alternative media.

February 21, 2020 7:23 pm

British police have been emasculated and replaced by Rotterham enablers. Unless people rise up and replace them, it will continue. Police, Peelers, were created as village justice was harsh. We seem to have crime enablers, and would be better off with village justice.

Reply to  pb
February 21, 2020 9:40 pm

It’s worth noting that, almost as soon as the Peelers were created, they started enforcing unpopular laws on the people.

February 21, 2020 7:27 pm

As we all know, nature abhors a vacuum, and it seems like the UK judiciary are keen to create such.

Probably a good thing, were the police to be seen being rough with the XR idiots, there’s little doubt it would serve to swell the ranks of the CC militants. Also it does rather seem like an open invitation for John Public to take matters into his own hands, and given that pretty much all of the XR crowd do not seem like the sort who are used to confrontation, expect large scale protests to wither quite quickly.

It’d be nice to see how many of those arrested when clogging up London, have been handed down sentences that carry a Criminal Record, but not Much more. As we can assume that such a record will make job resumes just a little too spicy for potential future employers, such action will thin out volunteers greatly leaving only the career derelicts and pensioners as a viable pool of ‘Shock’ troops. 🙂

February 21, 2020 7:43 pm

In certain government professions you are required to sign a deadly force wavier. This states that the decision to use deadly force or what turns out to be deadly force is your responsibility. They may help you but in the end you are liable.

So it’s always been on you but I see their point once rulings come down

Joel O'Bryan
February 21, 2020 8:01 pm

I’ll keep saying it:

Turn Liverpool FC fans loose on a bunch of XR protesters who are attempting to stop them from getting to the evening’s game at stadium after drinking all afternoon in pubs.

It’s simply matter of a scheduling an exhibition game match-up.

Ian Coleman
February 21, 2020 8:02 pm

Police officers are extremely class-conscious people. When you are investigated by the police, the first thing they do is find out what you do for a living. If you’re a low-life with a criminal record you are treated very differently than if you are a solid middle class citizen. I was once investigated by the Mounties for suborning a felony in an article I had written for a newspaper, and I was living with my father. I was worried when the police came to the door and showed it, and the police officer said, don’t worry, we would never just arrest someone who lives in a house like this. Swear to God.

The Extinction Rebellion protesters are middle class. Many of them have professional credentials. The police are going to treat them very gently.

Komrade Kuma
February 21, 2020 8:23 pm

The British High Court is beyond a joke. In an age when people as a whole enjoy the most freedom, wealth, quality of life and opportunity not to mention community assistance with health, education, transport, pensions and unemploymet benefits etc, etc, etc, we now have to have these ponced up sanctimonious twats ruling to allow mobs of violent, ponced up, self important, sanctimonious twats creating self indulgent chaos as distinct from peacefully protesting without infringing the rights of others.

I understand Boris wants to get rid of the stinking outfit, created by that political ponce du jour Tony Blair. Go Boris.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
February 21, 2020 10:04 pm

That’s the Supreme Court, which was just the existing Privy Council Law Lord’s renamed.
The High Court has been around for centuries.
The decision was civil division of the Court of Appeals, not the criminal division , so was really about administrative procedures and would only affect the senior police who made the decision about pre arresting some demonstrators who were potentially going to demonstrate. The police can still arrest those who who have actually demonstrated.

Reply to  Duker
February 21, 2020 10:09 pm

Yeah I think some of the comments don’t actually understand how the law works and what the issue was. I am sure most of us would be upset if we were pre-arrested because we thought about committing a crime.

February 21, 2020 8:27 pm

just checking to see if I am allowed to comment here

Mike McMillan
Reply to  chaamjamal
February 21, 2020 9:40 pm

What do you do for a living?

Reply to  Mike McMillan
February 21, 2020 10:34 pm

He’s a purveyor of fine whine?

Does that grant a pass?

February 21, 2020 9:22 pm

There is a simple solution, in any country, to the protesters that chain themselves to fixtures, or glue themselves to roads, buildings etc. The solution is to leave them there!! They will soon get tired of their situation, especially if nature calls, or even helps with rain. If they have thrown away their keys to locks, or have no way of un-glueing themselves that is even better!

Adam Gallom
Reply to  Dane
February 22, 2020 12:31 am

They don’t hold their protests in the rain.
Unfortunately, the police don’t permit inconvenienced members of the public to remove the demonstrators from the roads.
Certainly the idea mooted by others, of allowing football fans to remove the obstructions, is attractive.
I suspect that the organisers behind XR, realise that preventing fans getting to the match, wouldn’t be well received.

Master of the Obvious
Reply to  Adam Gallom
February 22, 2020 5:15 am

There’s a reason PETA attacks old ladies in fur coats and not leather-clad bikers.

Rod Evans
February 22, 2020 12:57 am

Meanwhile, the persecution of those wilful law breakers operating wood burners moves forward at rapid pace. The law is about to be introduced banning the burning of wood, that does not meet the dryness requirement. The laws are also in the system to ban wood burning and coal burning stoves completely in all built up areas. Built up areas has yet to be defined. Suffice to say if a house is brick built, that is a built up …..who knows.
The sale of yellow hi viz vests is accelerating in the UK.
As for the police, we now have drug dealers actively handing out their business cards, offering fast home delivery, this in full view of police, and captured on cctv cameras nothing is done to stop it.
God help those who have the nerve to burn wood, the full force of the law will come down on, YOU…

February 22, 2020 2:06 am

In the UK, law enforcement is policing by consent https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/policing-by-consent/definition-of-policing-by-consent . So, I was thinking, maybe we the public could withdraw that consent and have at it ourselves, or change the form of our consent such that we consent to the police kicking the living **** out of these miscreants.

February 22, 2020 2:26 am

The court ruling was the only one possible under Article 11 of the The UK Human Rights Act, which provides rights to peaceful protest and assembly.

Any limitation of these rights must
* conform to law
* be necessary and proportionate
*pursue one or more of these aims:
– national security or public safety
– the prevention of disorder or crime
– the protection of health
– the protection of others’ rights and freedoms.

This law is narrowly interpreted. The police do not have the legal authority to introduce a blanket ban on protests just because they (the police) think that the protests might be disruptive or might lead to public disorder. They require a specific justification for a specific protest. Anything less than that would establish an appalling precedent and would be a sad, sad day for democratic freedom, even if you hate what XR stands for.

The police do have the power to arrest someone in the run-up to a protest if they can show that the individual is guilty of inciting or assisting others to commit a crime during the protest e.g. setting up plans for a violent riot or criminal damage. This is covered by the Serious Crime Act 2007.

They also have the power to arrest someone during a protest if they actually commit a crime; this includes wilful obstruction.

The main police complaint is that the demands placed on their stretched resources by the arrest, removal and processing of thousands of XR protesters who were guilty of obstruction and other public order offences – all minor offences – left them unable to carry out far more urgent and important duties. I believe them and they have my deepest sympathy. They are in a lose-lose situation. However, my sympathy is still not sufficient for me to want to grant to the police the discretionary authority to suspend a fundamental democratic freedom.

The best answer is to re-educate the protesters, most of whom are themselves victims of relentless propaganda on why we are all doomed by climate change. They are after all only responding to what they hear every day from the BBC before the cricket scores.

Steve Richards
February 22, 2020 3:01 am

If it is a very large protest, a technique sometimes used is ‘kettling’. This is where the mass of protesters are cordoned off by hundreds of offices due ‘risk of injury’ to the demonstrators if they are all moved on simultaneously. After a few hours a small break in the cordon allows protestors to slowly disperse. The side effect is many are kept in a public square etc gor up to twelve hours. They do not like it and tend not to do it too often. If kettling had been used on other XR demonstrations, it may have dampened their enthusiasm. But XR do self motive very quickly so may be not?

February 22, 2020 4:11 am

I think the best solution is to leave the idiots stuck to the road/train/door etc where they stuck themselves in the first place and deny access to any one who wants to give them food or drink. After a week or so they may get fed up!

Reply to  Greytide
February 22, 2020 4:42 am

maybe being “supportive” and adding extra glue? to those already stuck
and even kinder to provide glue to those previously unstuck?
wouldnt be hard to squirt a tube of superglue at their feet surreptitiously while keeping their attention on a “possible recruit asking for info”?
just a thought;-)
at least theymight have to walk home barefooted

old white guy
February 22, 2020 5:20 am

British Police much like Canadian police are afraid to enforce the law unless it is against white men, all others can break the law with impunity. I would be shot for blockading a road or rail line but others are not.

February 22, 2020 7:24 am

So, one could rob a bank as long as they are doing it “for the planet”?

February 22, 2020 8:07 am

What happens in the UK with liberal thinking usually finds it’s way here, but in this case of police being restricted from enforcing the law with the backing of the courts, is this a result of sanctuary cities in the US restricting police protection of citizens and enforcing the law setting the example or the other way around?

At any rate it amounts to the authorities allowing harm to citizens if it supports their goals.

February 22, 2020 9:34 am

The Extinction Rebellion roadblock and camp is still (Saturday 22nd Feb 2020) in place in Cambridge UK, a week after XR began the “spontaneous” protest and the police responded with an “emergency road closure order” to ensure the safety of the protesters. It is of course a complete sham. The whole protest, camp, road closure, laminated signs, sanitary facilities, power supply, audio system, street food vendors, performance artists, wifi relays, “de-escalation” personnel, food, first-aid provision, photo opportunities, press coverage, road signage and diversionary routes for the buses and cars were planned well in advance by a working group consisting of the local council, the police and XR coordinators. The main disappointment was that none of the campers manning the barricades 24/7 seemed to have been educated in science or engineering or indeed anything other than the ability to deliver anti-capitalist sound bites and the random use (but no understanding) of long words or concepts like “divestment” or “thermodynamics” or “economics”, or even of “energy”. The police at the site were warning people not to shout anything at the campers nor walk through the camp wearing a mask or a counter-protest banner as that might be construed by the more sensitive campers as an action intended to instil fear of acid attacks or of constituting verbal abuse or hate speech which would necessitate prompt police intervention. At noon tomorrow the police will launch their planned surprise response and pretend to break up the camp and roadblocks.

The prevailing street atmosphere today was akin to a reunion of the few remaining ageing members of the UK 1980s Socialist Workers’ Party, mixed with the new cult of St Greta, but riven with ambivalence about the role of former coal miners, all having a grand time chatting to the police while all were trying to keep the cold out with the help of braziers heated by an unclear fuel source. I was expecting the police to be sporting the traditional rainbow arm-bands and unicorn fingernails to fit in with the flags on the university and council buildings, but was disappointed.

More worrying than the strange sight of a handful of neurotic deluded stalinist senior citizens and their grandchildren on the streets is the thought that all this is the projected policy of a nominally conservative government with an unassailable parliamentary majority.

Look on the bright side: the early signs are that the campers are diligent about not leaving their plastic bottles and their dog-poop, and there were no riot shields or water-canons. A quick hose-down of the streets tomorrow and the business will be back to normal on Monday. The far-east tourists are out in force, taking pictures of themselves outside dug-up college lawns and buying food and trinkets. The only immediate outcome is a limp petition asking the police to get the streets moving and to remove control of police policy away from the council’s “citizen’s assembly”: https://www.change.org/p/chief-constable-nick-dean-stop-the-extinction-rebellion-roadblock-in-cambridge

Perhaps XR could try this in Wuhan Main Street.

Donald Boughton
February 22, 2020 9:35 am

The UK police are in gross dereliction of their duty. It is about time they considered the results of their inaction,
fail to investigate one too many crimes and the UK tax paying public may very well decide to stop funding them.
It gets worse than that, the police may find them selves replaced by vigilante groups. Problem is that they make many more mistakes than the police officers. Innocent people are liable to get beaten up or worse. So UK police
enforce the law, arrest Extinction Rebellion morons/vandels and slam them in gaol. Also arrange for those arrested to be put on the international no fly list.

February 22, 2020 10:02 am

As always, the left considers itself to be above the law.

Martin Cropp
February 22, 2020 12:13 pm

So, if you flip the coin, shouldn’t the police be acting preemptively against the coal companies and fuel outlets for selling dangerous and harmful goods ???

It is illegal to disrupt, as climate extinction continually do, but legal to sell the so called dangerous pollutants.
Go figure.

Rhys Jaggar
February 22, 2020 11:26 pm

Any lawyer going into court claiming that their client is above the laws of the land is going to look a right idiot: so maybe the judges will be in on the corruption, but ordinary folks who ARE subject to the laws of the land will probably start saying: ‘You want to lawyer without laws applying to your client, we will beat you up without being liable to legal due process from you, sunshine!’

As soon as anyone argues that they are above the law, the rule of law breaks down and violence returns.

Uncomfortable, but true.

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