MPs call out ‘spine-chilling’ reclassification of Extinction Rebellion
A number of MPs have joined their voice to that of Nick Aldworth to express concern over the ‘over-reach’ of the government as it attempts to push through ‘anti-democratic and authoritarian policies to inhibit peaceful protest’.
The media, commentators and politicians have been calling for far-reaching powers to limit the right to protest, after Extinction Rebellion protesters closed roads around Broxbourne and Knowsley printing press.
Baronness Jenny Jones, MPs Diane Abbott, Zarah Sultana, Bell Ribiero-Addy, former Counter-Terrorism National Coordinator Nick Aldworth and journalist Owen Jones have defended the action and spoken out against this over-reach of government powers – calling it ‘spine-chilling’ and ‘Stalinist’.
Aldworth said: “Spine-chilling if Boris Johnson believes Extinction Rebellion should be classed as terrorists or Organised Crime Groups. Those are actually subversions of the intentions of those laws. They’ve not attacked free press, they’ve targeted a company whose former CEO/owner James Murdoch is concerned about their reporting. If Extinction Rebellion break the law, enforce it, don’t change it.”
Sarah Lunnon, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said: “Our media and our government are captured by vested interests. They do not want to see change. Three companies alone own 87% of the national newspaper market with connections to the fossil fuel industry. This is why – for the last 30 years – we haven’t seen anything like the level and prioritisation of reporting that we need. These powerful vested interests are the real organised criminals. They are the true threat to our democracy. And it’s depressing – although no surprise – that so much of the political and media elite has jumped to their defence, and jumped at the opportunity to suppress people power and grassroots protest. We will not allow them to criminalise the noble tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience.”