UK News: Extinction Rebellion protest: Met Police criticised for 'ID checks on pedestrians' near London demo sites - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK News Extinction Rebellion protest: Met Police criticised for 'ID checks on pedestrians' near London demo sites

05:40  17 october  2019
05:40  17 october  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

London police arrest 21 climate change protesters as mass action starts

  London police arrest 21 climate change protesters as mass action starts London police arrest 21 climate change protesters as mass action startsReuters reporters in London's government district of Westminster saw activists block a bridge and several roads as the protests gathered pace.

Police have been clearing Extinction Rebellion activists from Trafalgar Square after issuing a London -wide ban on the group's climate change protests . In a statement issued on Monday evening, the Metropolitan Police said demonstrators protesting in the capital after 21:00 GMT would be

Actions continue after Met police orders end to protests across the capital.

a group of people walking down the street © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

A civil liberties group has condemned the Met Police after officers were filmed allegedly checking people's ID on Lambeth Bridge in London, in the wake of a ban on Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in the city.

A video showing two officers stopping people before they crossed the bridge, with one woman producing a pass before being let through, to has been circulating on social media. The user who posted the video claimed that "indiscriminate" checks were being carried out by police.

The Met Police said officers are not carrying out forced checks and have not been briefed to do so, but said it is aware that one of XR's objectives is to block the bridges in central London. It said officers have been "proactively engaging with individuals crossing the bridge to ensure those with an intention of bringing London to a standstill are not successful".

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Extinction Rebellion protests have "stretched" police resources in London , the Metropolitan Police chief has said. Police have asked activists who have been demonstrating close to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster to move their protests in Trafalgar Square or risk arrest.

London 's Metropolitan Police on Monday changed the conditions of an order previously imposed on protests in the city. "Any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion 'Autumn Uprising' must now cease their protest (s) within London ," said the new wording of the order. Police said the ban was

a group of people standing in front of a building © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

The Metropolitan Police on Tuesday ordered XR protesters to stop their action immediately or face arrest after a week of demonstrations in London.

XR campaigners were told to leave Trafalgar Square, where many have congregated lawfully, as police sought to expunge the protesters from the capital and limit disruption to public transport and spaces under a Section 14 order.

'ID cards by the back door'

Clare Collier, advocacy director at organisation Liberty, told i the alleged checks should be of "great concern", and said people do not have a duty to show officers any ID if they are asked.

“This is little short of ID cards by the back door," she claimed. "Earlier this week the Government announced plans for compulsory voter photo ID and now Met officers are stopping people in the street. This increased surveillance of the public should be of great concern to anyone who values freedom and privacy.

Activists to begin ‘Hong Kong-style’ occupation of London City Airport

  Activists to begin ‘Hong Kong-style’ occupation of London City Airport Extinction Rebellion aims to ‘shut down’ the east London airport for three days.The protest group says its members intend to “peacefully occupy and shut down” the airport’s terminal building from 9am on Thursday.

Police clear Extinction Rebellion protesters from Trafalgar Square overnight – video. Politicians, civil rights campaigners and environmentalists have condemned the police crackdown on Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests , saying the London -wide ban was “chilling and unlawful”.

Extinction Rebellion activists cause disruption across London in climate change protests – video. A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said there were several hundred people still occupying the The arrests came after the Metropolitan police issued an order under section 14 of the Public Order

“The police don’t have the power to ask for ID - and people don’t have a duty to show them any or even provide their name. We advise people who are stopped to ask officers what powers they are using first, and do what makes them feel safe," she added.

Police are doing indiscriminate ID checks on Lambeth Bridge. ⁦@ExtinctionR#PoliceState pic.twitter.com/AozlaLguYz

— Alex Armitage (@alexjarmitage) October 15, 2019

A spokesperson for the Met Police said they were aware of the video but had not received any complaints about officers on Lambeth Bridge.

"Officers are fully aware one of the tactics and objectives of Extinction Rebellion is to block the bridges in central London.

"Officers do not hold the power to force members of the public to identify themselves in these circumstances, and have not been briefed to do so. However, officers on Lambeth Bridge have been proactively engaging with individuals crossing to ensure those with an intention of bringing London to a standstill are not successful in doing so. In some instances, members of the public identified themselves to officers.

"The MPS has not received any complaints in relation to the conduct of officers on Lambeth Bridge," they said.

Privacy issues

British Police officers surround a structure erected by climate change activists from the group Extinction Rebellion, during their demonstration, near Lambeth Bridge before they were forced off the site (Photo: Getty)

Privacy expert Ray Walsh, at digital freedom thinktank ProPrivacy, called the alleged checks "extremely concerning".

"It has no basis in law and is a direct attack on both people's privacy and their ability to move freely around the city," he said.

"What's more, as it is impossible for police to know whether pedestrians are protesters or not," he said, adding that any apparent ID checks would create "a de-facto internal border that affects all Londoners".

Climate protester scales London's Big Ben on final day of action .
Climate protester scales London's Big Ben on final day of actionThe movement has been targeting government buildings, a local airport and financial institutions such as BlackRock to highlight the threat posed by global warming.

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