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An Extinction Rebellion activist comments about the London police by Clark Killick

I suspect that the Metropolitan Police are one of the best police forces in the world at present; the vast majority of their policing of Extinction Rebellion has been exemplary. I think it is having a good effect nationally too; in October 2019, thousands of police were brought in from other forces all over the UK in anticipation of XR's October Uprising. Some of them were noticeably more aggressive at first, but I think that Met officers told them that XR are always non-violent and asked them to behave better.

I often chat to police on XR actions - the advice in Non Violent Direct Action training is not to, but I'm always careful not to reveal information about other activists or our plans for actions. I speak to officers about the findings of the IPCC reports, the urgency of climate change and why politics doesn't work. Many of them are supportive, and often even friendly. Many are worried about climate change. One senior officer chatted to myself and a close friend for about half an hour; we agreed about most things, and he even called XR "a noble cause". I expect police are relieved to deal with XR because they know there will be no violence.

Years ago the Met was much worse with a lot of prejudice, but an official policy was introduced to change that, and to recruit more women and people of diverse ethnicities. It certainly seems to have helped a lot. However, the Met does have special thug departments such as the Territorial Support Unit, and the Square Mile financial district has its own force(!), the City Police, and they are considerably more aggressive, especially the senior officers.

You seem to have terrible police in the United States; I'm not surprised you call them thugs.

Copyright 2020 Clark Killick Released under Creative Commons Attribution Noderivatives 4.0