‘Criminalising our right to protest’: green groups’ anger over public order bill | Environmental activism | The Guardian
Measures in Queen’s speech would have outlawed protests that won votes for women and legalisation of unions, say critics
Environmental campaign groups have hit out at the “draconian” protest crackdown bill announced in the Queen’s speech.
The new law appears to be targetted at groups such as Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain who have used disruptive methods to draw attention to the climate crisis.
Announcing the bill, Priti Patel said: “As the Queen’s speech outlined, the public order bill backs the police to prevent antisocial protests from disrupting people’s lives.” The home secretary hailed the “new criminal offences for ‘locking on’ and interfering with national infrastructure, and serious disruption prevention orders for reoffenders”.
The new criminalisation of “locking on” is aimed at protesters who handcuff or glue themselves to infrastructure, a favourite tactic of green protest groups. Insulate Britain demonstrators made headlines last year after glueing themselves to major roads, and Extinction Rebellion members have previously handcuffed and glued themselves to trains, causing disruption.