To ask the Mayor is it true that protesters at the Extinction Rebellion protests before Easter were provided with prepared witness statements, designed to convince the courts that their actions were a “reasonable and proportionate response”? These documents advised protesters to tell officers that they have the support of the Mayor of London, who has declared a “climate emergency” in London.
I support the right to peaceful and lawful protest, but the recent protests, some of which were unlawful, placed an enormous burden on our already overstretched and under resourced police. They also had a big impact on some of London’s communities and businesses. I said this publicly at the time.
I cannot comment on documents made available to protestors as neither I nor my team were involved in the organisation or facilitation of Extinction Rebellion protests. However, I was one of the first political leaders to declare a climate emergency in London. It is an inescapable truth that we simply cannot continue to damage the environment the way we have been. We need an urgent step change in the way we think and act in order to tackle climate change. The Government must use this as an opportunity to set out what action it will take, together with a clear and urgent timeframe.