Extinction Rebellion ranked alongside terror groups in police extremism guidelines

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Extinction Rebellion were listed along known terror groups National Action and al-Muhajiroun in police guidelines (Picture: PA)

Extinction Rebellion have blasted police for listing their cause as an extreme ideology in an official document.

A police guide aimed at stopping young people becoming radicalised included the green movement alongside an Islamist group and neo-Nazis, according to a Guardian report on Friday.

The guide advises officers, government organisations and teachers on reporting concerns about people becoming radicalised to the Prevent programme.

Counter Terrorism Policing South East, which produced the document, quickly admitted an ‘error of judgment’ and recalled the document for a review.

Extinction Rebellion (XR) branded the document a ‘terrorism slur’ and a ‘deliberate attempt to silence’ them.

A spokesperson said: ‘How dare they? Teachers, grandparents, nurses have been trying their best with loving non-violence to get politicians and big business to do something about the dire state of our planet.’

‘And this is how the establishment responds.’

File photo dated 24/10/19 of Extinction Rebellion protesters outside the Ministry of Justice in Westminster, London, during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate change protest. Extinction Rebellion (XR) has criticised police for including the group on a list of extremist organisations in an official report. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday January 10, 2020. Documents seen by the Guardian reveal the environmental protest group was listed alongside National Action and Islamic extremists in a guide drawn up by Counter Terror Police South East (CTPSE). The activists branded the label a "terrorism slur" and a "deliberate attempt to silence" them. See PA story POLICE ExtinctionRebellion. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The group’s ‘October Rebellion’ shut down Westminster for days (Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

XR has protested against a perceived lack of action on climate change in countries across the world.

Its ‘October Rebellion’ in London saw most of Westminster shut down for days on end while demonstrators camped out on roads and bridges.

Many have deliberately committed acts they knew they would be arrested for.

The group helps activists prepare themselves for this and allows them to do so in XR’s name in order to raise awareness, supporting arrestees with a large legal fund drawn from donations.

Its financial reports revealed £300,000 was donated by rock band Radiohead between March and September, plus £20,000 from Greenpeace.

File photo dated 18/04/19 of demonstrators during a Extinction Rebellion protest in Oxford Circus in London. Extinction Rebellion (XR) has criticised police for including the group on a list of extremist organisations in an official report. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday January 10, 2020. Documents seen by the Guardian reveal the environmental protest group was listed alongside National Action and Islamic extremists in a guide drawn up by Counter Terror Police South East (CTPSE). The activists branded the label a "terrorism slur" and a "deliberate attempt to silence" them. See PA story POLICE ExtinctionRebellion. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The ‘April Rebellion’ saw a large pink boat brought to Westminster Bridge (Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire)

The Climate Emergency Fund (CEF) has also sent over £300,000 to the group.

XR’s financial director has previously said that not all donors allow their money to be used in support of activists committing crimes.

The October demonstration alone has created a huge backlog of court cases which are still being handled today.

Activists have continued to stage smaller stunts such as blocking a road outside Gatwick.

The 12-page police guide, titled’ safeguarding young people and adults from ideological extremism’, said the group is a threat due to its ‘anti-establishment philosophy’.

It said signs of support for XR could be ‘people speaking in strong or emotive terms about environmental issues like climate change, ecology, fracking, airport expansion or pollution’.

EMBAROGED TO 0001 SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22 File photo dated 07/07/17 of Radiohead star Thom Yorke, who has spoken of the ?hard time? his family went through following the death of his ex-partner. PA Photo. Issue date: Sunday September 22, 2019. Rachel Owen died aged 48, in 2016, after suffering from cancer. See PA story SHOWBIZ Yorke. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The activists were given hundreds of thousands of pounds by Radiohead (Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

A retired chief superintendent who has demonstrated for XR called the list ‘astonishing’.

Rob Cooper said: ‘If they wish to add anyone to their list of extremist groups, perhaps they should consider fossil fuel lobby groups.

‘They seem to be very effective at indoctrinating politicians around the globe and enabling oil, gas and coal companies to receive massive subsidies whilst the planet burns.’

DCS Kath Barnes, the head of CTPSE, said: ‘I would like to make it quite clear that we do not classify Extinction Rebellion as an extremist organisation.

‘The inclusion of Extinction Rebellion in this document was an error of judgment and we will now be reviewing all of the contents as a result.’

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