The Ethical and the Political? What does banning climate change protest in London tell us about the current ethical/political climate in the U.K.?
16th October 2019
I spent a number of days in Trafalgar square last week researching aspects of climate change activism and spiritual/religious motivation. The protests were, in my experience peaceful, intelligently articulated and based on entirely authentic and genuine beliefs and opinions. The question now arises as to why such actions are now banned in London but more importantly where does this leave state in terms of its moral and ethical commitments to allow freedom of speech and freedom to protest peacefully in public spaces? Is this more than just an echo of the Criminal Justice act of the nineties? Ellie Chowns MEP for the Green Party and arrested protester speaks in the New Statesman (15/10/19), “Last night I was arrested in Trafalgar Square while defending the right to peaceful public protest. That right is central to a functioning democracy,” she wrote on Twitter. “Yesterday, public protest was banned throughout our capital city. This is a completely unjustified and disproportionate measure.” (Public protest in general has not been banned.)