“Only in police states is peaceful activism crime” reads one of the banners at this small protest. We interviewed Jon Fuller outside New Scotland Yard earlier this week. He was there with a small group of protesters as a result of remarks made by senior Metropolitan Police officers in the aftermath of the Extinction Rebellion protests in April.
In front of the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee, Commissioner Cressida Dick complained that Public Order powers were “ancient” and “limited”, and suggested a stronger deterrent might be needed. The Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor promised that the Crown Prosecution Service would look to bring all 1130 protesters arrested during the Rebellion to court. The Home Secretary Savid Javid also called for the ‘full force of the law’ to be used against climate protesters.
The protesters at New Scotland Yard came from Southend, Essex as part of a group called “Climate Genocide Act Now”, and they have written to Cressida Dick and the Home Office suggesting they look at introducing new powers and investigating climate criminals, rather than the activists trying to highlight the impending extinction of mankind. Both letters were responded to negatively by the respective departments.
Jon Fuller had notified the police of the demonstration (not required by law for a static protest), telling them it would be small and wholly peaceful, so he was surprised that they sent a van load of officers and four ‘Police Liaison Officers’ (also known for intelligence gathering) to oversee the gathering of a dozen men and women.
As well as an hour outside the police headquarters, the protesters moved to the Home Office for awhile to repeat their message.