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Acting 'On Behalf of Life,' Extinction Rebellion Defies Blanket Ban on Climate Protests in London

"They take these actions to protect an establishment that is criminally negligent in its inaction on ecological and climate breakdown. We rebel against a broken system."

Police officers surround activists chained to a caravan blocking the road on Millbank during the ninth day of demonstrations by Extinction Rebellion in London on October 15, 2019. (Photo: Isabel Infantes/AFP/Getty Images)

Activists with the global Extinction Rebellion movement vowed to remain in the streets demanding climate action after the London Metropolitan Police Monday night imposed a city-wide protest ban that lawmakers and human rights groups condemned as "chilling and unlawful."

"We refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now. We act in peace, with ferocious love of life in our hearts. We act on behalf of life. Our international rebellion continues."
—Extinction Rebellion

"Imposing a blanket ban on Extinction Rebellion protests is an unlawful restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly," Allan Hogarth, head of advocacy and programs at Amnesty International U.K., said in a statement. "Under U.K. and international human rights law, the government has an obligation to facilitate the exercise of these rights."

Extinction Rebellion U.K. quickly signaled that it would refuse to comply with the police order, which the group said is legally "dubious."

"They take these actions to protect an establishment that is criminally negligent in its inaction on ecological and climate breakdown," the group tweeted late Monday. "We rebel against a broken system. We act on behalf of life."

George Monbiot, a columnist for The Guardian and supporter of the Extinction Rebellion movement, said the "truncation of the right to protest" by London police "intensifies the moral case for taking action."

"My plans have not changed," tweeted Monbiot, who said he intends to get arrested Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, Extinction Rebellion campaigners returned to the streets to continue their peaceful protests and non-violent civil disobedience as police gathered in Trafalgar Square to block demonstrations.

Extinction Rebellion's demonstrations Tuesday are part of the movement's two weeks of direct action that kicked off last Monday.

According to the London police, there have been more than 1,300 arrests since the two weeks of demonstrations began.

"It ain't over 'till it's over," Extinction Rebellion tweeted Tuesday morning in response to the protest ban. "We refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now. We act in peace, with ferocious love of life in our hearts. We act on behalf of life. Our international rebellion continues."

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