Londoners better get ready, because Extinction Rebellion is back in business, baby. The High Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that a ban the Metropolitan Police Service of U.K. implemented in London last month was illegal. That means the climate activist group can sue the Metro for trying to restrict their right to protest nonviolently.
The drama reached its peak last month when Extinction Rebellion protestors shut down the London City Airport and blocked roadways in the city. More than 200 people were arrested that day. The group then went ahead and shut down the London Tube after the police banned protests. While most of the group’s actions have been fairly badass, this one was kinda annoying. Public transit is, after all, a major solution to the climate crisis, so WTF, XR?
Hopefully, the group will do better now that its supporters are free to take to the streets again without fear of retribution. As for the Metro Police? They’re “disappointed,” per a statement. The cost of these protests amounted to some 24 million Euros (or more than $26 million).
The point of all this disruption is to move politicians to take appropriate action on the climate crisis. You think bridges shutting down is expensive? Wait until heatwaves become the norm and serious hurricanes start targeting parts of Europe. Now, that’ll be costly—in both dollars and human lives.
“It’s a victory for those who want to draw the government’s attention to what scientists have been telling us for decades, which is that the planet is warming, that we’re in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, that we are responsible, and that we have a very short amount of time to do something about it,” said Extinction Rebellion lawyer Tobias Garnett during a press conference. “Rather than silencing and criminalizing Extinction Rebellion’s activists, we call on the government to tell the truth and act now on this climate and ecological emergency.”