'Extreme' protest groups face ban under proposal

image source, Just turn off the oil

  • the author, Harry Farley
  • the role, Political Correspondent

Protest groups such as Just Stop Oil and Palestine Action could be banned as terrorist organizations under a proposal by the government's adviser on political violence.

A forthcoming report by Lord Walney, excerpts of which have been seen by BBC News, will propose a new category to outlaw “extreme protest groups”.

It defines those who routinely use criminal tactics to try to achieve their goals.

Restrictions may limit a group's ability to raise funds and its right to assemble in the UK.

The Home Office said ministers would consider the recommendations.

“Militant groups such as Palestine Action and Just Stop Oil are using criminal tactics to wreak havoc and hold people and activists to ransom without fear,” Lord Walney said.

“Banning terrorist groups makes it harder for their operatives to plan crimes – this approach should be extended to extreme protest groups.”

Just Stop Oil said the government was “dangerously radical and putting us all at risk” through its climate policies.

Palestine Action claimed that its measures were in line with the majority of the British public, who want an arms embargo between the UK and Israel, and that the proposals would not stop their campaign.

The report will say that the new ban orders “will be separate from bans on terrorism grounds.”

But the procedure can limit the activities of organizations that have a policy of using criminal offenses or creating serious obstruction to influence government or public debate.

If a group's actions were sustained, and used to promote a political or ideological cause, it would count against them, according to the recommendation.

It will come as part of a review into tackling political violence by Lord Walney – former Labor MP John Woodcock – which was commissioned three years ago, but has yet to be published.

A government source said ministers shared Lord Walney's aims and would consider implementing the review's recommendations once it was published.

A Home Office spokesman said: “Extremism of any kind has no place in our society and we will not tolerate tactics designed to intimidate, intimidate or disrupt the law-abiding majority.” get ready

“In recent months, we have seen even a small number of protesters engage in violent and hateful behaviour, and the police have our full support in tackling extremism and hate crime.

“We are considering the report's recommendations very carefully and will respond in due course.”

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