We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Extinction Rebellion Wrongly Categorised as Terrorists

January 14, 2020 12:21 PM

Climate activism has grown dramatically in recent years as the science and peoples experiences have seen the issue climb up the political agenda. In the UK the Extinction Rebellion organisation has got a lot of coverage with its campaign of civil disobedience aimed at drawing attention to the issue

The Guardian recently had a good exclusive when it found that the Police had added the Extinction Rebellion organisation to its list of terrorist organisations. XR featured alongside threats to national security such as neo-Nazi terrorism and a pro-terrorist Islamist group. Police said including the non-violent climate emergency group was a mistake and recalled the document, but only after they discovered the Guardian had learned of it. The list of extreme ideologies including XR came in a guide dated to last November produced by counter-terrorism policing south-east and was intended for police officers, government organisations and teachers, who by law have to report concerns about radicalisation.

Lord Carlile a barrister and ex Liberal Democrat MP, denounced the decision. The first independent reviewer of terrorism legislation from 2001-11 said the police had made an error and were right to apologise. "The Prevent strategy is meant to deal with violent extremism, with terrorism, and XR are not violent terrorists. They are disruptive campaigners."

"My view is it is important to distinguish between terrorism and protest. XR is mostly legitimate protest. It does not fall into the category of terrorism and the police are quite right to back down.

So far so good you might think but on Monday Home Secretary Priti Patel has been condemned for defending anti-terror police following a backlash against the decision

The Home Secretary accepted in an interview with LBC that XR was a protest group, not a terror threat, but stopped short of outright criticising the decision and said the government was "constantly looking at individuals and groups".

"They [XR] are obviously a protest organisation. But everything has to be based in terms of risk to the public, security risks, security threats," Ms Patel said.

"That is based on information from the police, and various intelligence that we will receive. That's the proper thing to do."

She also appeared to reject criticism from Sir Peter Fahy, the former head of the Prevent counter-extremism strategy, after he said the decision risked damaging public trust in the programme
It is a worry when a politician in a powerful position fails to recognize when a mistake is made

Just because you don't agree with anothers point of view should not be enough to see them condemned as potential terrorist!