Response to Amnesty International Statement on Extinction Rebellion Ban

The High Court has ruled that the police ban on Extinction Rebellion protests was unlawful. Amnesty International also says that the police’s blanket ban on Extinction Rebellion protests was unlawful and a complete overstep.

Now according to UDHR 1948 ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.’ But also according to UDHR 1948,  ‘Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment,’ Traffic was stopped and worse still, people working in Smithfield Meat Market and Billingsgate Fish Market were targeted by protesters, so that working people there were denied their right to get on with life with dignity. So Extinction Rebelion managed to violate both Article 23 and Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To defend a group’s right to protest when they are in the process of violating the human rights of others is absurd. Also, there is a difference between a peaceful assembly and a direct action. What took place was a direct action. So on this matter I have to disagree with Amnesty International.

Either we believe in Human Rights or we don’t. I don’t like the idea of prisoners having the right to vote, but as their right to vote is clearly stated in UDHR Article 21, that’s the way it is. As people’s right to work is enshrined in Article 23, then there is no way I can support people who are violating that right.

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