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UK High Court says blanket ban on XR protests was unlawful

LONDON — Britain’s High Court said it was unlawful for the Metropolitan Police to impose a blanket ban on protests by the climate activism group Extinction Rebellion.

Two senior judges ruled Wednesday that London’s police force had no power to impose the ban under Section 14 of the Public Order Act because that part of the law doesn’t cover multiple gatherings. But judges said the act could be used to control future protests that are deliberately designed to ‘‘take police resources to breaking point.’’

Climate change activists protested at sites around central London for 10 days in October, demanding more urgent action to counter global warming. The police said 1,832 people were arrested.

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The law firm Bindmans, which represented the activists, said police now face claims for false imprisonment for those arrested after the ban was imposed.

associated press