Green Party Co-leader Jonathan Bartley has been arrested in Whitehall, London, today (16 October) for joining peaceful protests against the Met Police’s banning of Extinction Rebellion protests across the capital.
Bartley joined protests in response to the Met’s enforcement of a ban on peaceful protest across London which came into force on Monday night (14 October).
Bartley was arrested under section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986, which lays out rules for policing public assemblies and protests. Under section 14 police officers may issue section orders to disperse protests if there is reasonable belief that the protest may result in serious public disorder or serious disruption to public life and damage to property.
Extinction Rebellion protestors, who have been engaged in peaceful civil disobedience since 7 October as part of the group’s Autumn Rebellion, had previously been told to move to Trafalgar Square if they wanted to continue demonstrating. But on Monday night police ordered protestors to leave or face legal action.
Responding to Bartley’s arrest, a Green Party spokesperson said: “Climate chaos will end ecosystems and collapse our society. We have just 10 years to reduce our CO2 emissions to safer levels and climate protestors are drawing attention to that.
“We all have a right to peaceful protest and we will continue to act to protest that right and draw attention to instances where democracy is threatened.”
Environmentalist and journalist George Monbiot was also arrested today, while Green MEP Ellie Chowns was arrested on Monday. She took to Twitter on Tuesday to say: “Last night I was arrested in Trafalgar Square while defending the right to peaceful public protest. That right is central to a functioning democracy. Yesterday, public protest was banned throughout our capital city. This is a completely unjustified and disproportionate measure.”