Priti Patel Blames XR Activists For Using ‘Dangerous Tactics In The Name Of Environmental Awareness’

0

Priti Patel today condemned Extinction Rebellion activists for using “ dangerous tactics in the name of environmental awareness. ”

The Secretary of the Interior said she would “not keep my promise to the law-abiding majority” if she did not crack down on the protesters.

His comment comes after six Extinction Rebellion – aka XR – protesters were acquitted of causing criminal damage to Shell’s London headquarters – despite the judge directing jurors that they had ‘no defense’ in the law.

The group organized ‘protest of one’ roadblocks on Saturday to demonstrate against the government’s lack of action on climate change.

Today, the Home Secretary told The Sun on Sunday, “ I would not keep my promise to the law-abiding majority if I stood up while Extinction Rebellion used dangerous tactics in the name of environmental awareness.

These so-called activists blocked many of us from accessing a newspaper last year.

“And last week they destroyed a bank headquarters.”

Saturday’s protests coincided with a number of rallies against the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill.

Home Secretary said she would ‘fail to keep my promise to the law-abiding majority’ if she did not crack down on protesters

The group organized 'protest of one' roadblocks on Saturday to demonstrate against the government's lack of action on climate change

The group organized ‘protest of one’ roadblocks on Saturday to demonstrate against the government’s lack of action on climate change

The bill was drafted in part in response to previous disruptive measures taken by XR and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The proposed legislation would give the police in England and Wales more powers to impose conditions on non-violent protests.

However, it has been rejected by critics as’ too broad ‘and an’ unfair ‘crackdown on protesters’ rights – in which those perceived as’ too loud’ or ‘a nuisance’ could be subject to fines or imprisonment.

The bill has sparked several major protests, with thousands of ‘Kill the Bill’ protesters marching through central London yesterday.

There were also protests in 40 UK cities against increased police powers.

In the Sunday Telegraph, however, Ms. Patel defended the proposed new legislation, saying: ‘The powers will help the police balance the rights of protesters to peacefully demonstrate against the rights of others to do their day-to-day business , and for their means of keeping the public safe.

“That’s democracy in action.”

Her comments come when Six Extinction Rebellion protesters were acquitted last week of causing £ 25,000 in criminal damage to Shell’s London headquarters, despite the judge having designated jurors that they had no legal defense.

Two of the group’s co-founders, Simon Bramwell, 49, and Ian Bray, 53, were acquitted on Friday alongside Jane Augsburger, 55, Senan Clifford, 60, David Lambert, 62, and James ‘Sid’ Saunders, 41, after a trial . at Southwark Crown Court.

The six, who represented themselves, were also cleared of individual counts of holding an article with intent to destroy or damage property, while a seventh protester, Katerina Hasapopoulous, 43, previously pleaded guilty to criminal damages.

Prosecutor Diana Wilson told jurors that on April 15, 2019, each of the defendants intentionally sprayed graffiti or smashed windows in the Shell building on Belvedere Road, in central London.

The protest, in which activists poured fake oil, glue themselves to windows and doors, break glass, climb a roof and spray graffiti, was part of wider Extinction Rebellion demonstrations in the capital.

Six Extinction Rebellion protesters have been cleared of causing criminal damage to Shell's London headquarters, despite the judge pointing out to jurors that they had no legal defense.  Pictured (left to right): Ian Bray, James 'Sid' Saunders, Simon Bramwell, Jane Augsburger, David Lambert and Senan Clifford

Six Extinction Rebellion protesters have been cleared of causing criminal damage to Shell’s London headquarters, despite the judge pointing out to jurors that they had no legal defense. Pictured (left to right): Ian Bray, James ‘Sid’ Saunders, Simon Bramwell, Jane Augsburger, David Lambert and Senan Clifford

The six, representing themselves, were also exempt from individual counts of having an item with the intent of destroying or damaging property

The six, representing themselves, were also exempt from individual counts of having an item with the intent of destroying or damaging property

Ms. Wilson said that while some of the protesters stood outside the building with banners or talked to megaphones, “these defendants went further,” adding, “The seven involved caused significant damage.”

All on trial explained that they were targeted by the Shell building because the oil giant was a direct contributor to climate change causing serious injury and death, and argued that it was a ‘necessary’ and ‘proportionate’ response to the caused damage.

Clifford quoted Sir David Attenborough and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in his testimony.

He said, ‘I believe that if I don’t do everything I can to protect our earth, to protect life on this earth, to stop the death and injury that has and will happen, I am committing a crime, a very serious crime, and i’m willing to break a window, paint a message on a wall, i’m willing to break the glass on that emergency button, even if some say that’s a crime.

“Because this is a much bigger crime and I’m trying to stop that crime, I’m trying to protect life the only way I think I can.”

The protest, in which activists poured fake oil, glue themselves to windows and doors, break glass, climb a roof and spray graffiti, was part of wider Extinction Rebellion demonstrations in the capital.

The protest, in which activists poured fake oil, glue themselves to windows and doors, break glass, climb a roof and spray graffiti, was part of wider Extinction Rebellion demonstrations in the capital.

Prosecutor Diana Wilson told jurors that on April 15, 2019, each of the defendants intentionally sprayed graffiti or smashed windows in the Shell building on Belvedere Road, in central London.

Prosecutor Diana Wilson told jurors that on April 15, 2019, each of the defendants intentionally sprayed graffiti or smashed windows in the Shell building on Belvedere Road, in central London.

Judge Gregory Perrins ordered jurors that even if they thought the protesters were “ morally justified, ” this did not give them a legal excuse to commit criminal damages.

With the exception of Saunders, who claimed in his defense that he honestly believed that Shell employees and shareholders would have consented to his criminal damages, the judge said, “They have no legal defense of the charges they are facing.”

But it took the jury of seven women and five men seven hours and four minutes to clear them of both charges.

Some defendants waved to jurors, some of whom were visibly emotional, when they left the court.

The six, representing themselves, were also exempt from individual counts of having an item with the intent of destroying or damaging property

The six, representing themselves, were also exempt from individual counts of having an item with the intent of destroying or damaging property

All on trial explained that they were targeted by the Shell building because the oil giant was a direct contributor to climate change causing serious injury and death, and argued that it was a 'necessary' and 'proportionate' response to the caused damage.

All on trial explained that they were targeted by the Shell building because the oil giant was a direct contributor to climate change causing serious injury and death, and argued that it was a ‘necessary’ and ‘proportionate’ response to the caused damage.

Before reaching their verdict, the jury had asked for a copy of the oath they had taken when they were sworn in.

The jury thanked jurors for their “care and attention” and said, “This is an unusual case.”

Augsburger, Bramwell, Clifford, Lambert and Saunders, all from Stroud, Gloucestershire and Bray, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, were exultant as they left the court.

Hasapopoulous, from Stroud, will be sentenced later.

.