Politics

Police handed new powers to remove disruptive Extinction Rebellion protesters who ­cause chaos


POLICE will be given sweeping new powers to remove climate change demonstrators who ­disrupt businesses or transport links.

Ministers plan to outlaw “guerrilla tactics” used by Extinction Rebellion protesters to create chaos.

Ministers plan to give the police new powers to remove protesters who cause chaos

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Ministers plan to give the police new powers to remove protesters who cause chaosCredit: AP:Associated Press
Extinction Rebellion demonstrators blockade printing presses in Knowsley last weekend

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Extinction Rebellion demonstrators blockade printing presses in Knowsley last weekendCredit: Rex Features

They will re-draw public order rules to make it harder for groups to blockade key sites such as power stations, railway stations, military bases or private companies.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is acting after XR’s printing press blockade which left some newsagents’ shelves empty last weekend.

Under one plan, it will become an offence for protesters to superglue or chain themselves to vehicles, trains or railings to disrupt lawful activity.

Last year XR activists disrupted rush-hour services by gluing themselves to a train at a London station.

Ministers are also expected to make public nuisance a statutory criminal offence, carrying tougher sentences.

And the police would get new powers, with heftier fines and more conditions of protest activity.

Ms Patel has met Solicitor General Michael Ellis to thrash out the crackdown.

She said last week’s demo was “a shameful attack on our way of life, our economy and the livelihoods of the hard-working majority”.

And she added: “They are damaging the prospects of newsagents, shopkeepers and print workers. I refuse to allow that kind of anarchy.”

A senior government source said: “There’s nothing wrong with people marching. But we can’t have them stopping the law-abiding majority going about their business.”

Priti Patel said last week’s demo was 'a shameful attack on our way of life'

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Priti Patel said last week’s demo was ‘a shameful attack on our way of life’Credit: PA:Press Association
Extinction Rebellion demonstrators block traffic in London

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Extinction Rebellion demonstrators block traffic in LondonCredit: David New – The Sun
Public order rules will be re-drawn to make it harder for groups to blockade key sites

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Public order rules will be re-drawn to make it harder for groups to blockade key sitesCredit: Louis Wood – The Sun
Under one plan disrupting lawful activity will become an offence

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Under one plan disrupting lawful activity will become an offenceCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Churchill statue vandalised by Extinction Rebellion yobs as protesters leap on cars at Parliament Square demo

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