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09 September 2020

Scientist speaker at Extinction Rebellion event challenges unlawful arrest

2 mins

Bindmans LLP have been instructed by ecologist Emma Smart, who was arrested on 3rd September by officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.

Ms Smart was outside the Department of Health on Victoria Street giving a speech about the impact of animal farming on the climate. Mid-speech, police officers removed her microphone and arrested her for breaching s.14 Public Order Act conditions. These conditions however only applied to protesters who were at Parliament Square and did not apply to the meeting she was at outside the Department of Health.

Ms Smart has instructed Bindmans LLP to challenge the police over her arrest and to have the investigation against her immediately discontinued.

Emily-Jade Defriend said: “on 3rd September 2020 on Victoria Street, Ms Smart who is a respected scientist, was addressing a small gathering on issues of animal farming, global pandemics and the risk to human health. These issues are of paramount importance, particularly in the current climate we are in. Without warning or lawful authority Metropolitan Police officers removed her microphone and speaker. She was then arrested and detained for several hours before being released under investigation. The arrest was not pursuant to the conditions imposed by the police. This is another example of overzealous policing of Extinction Rebellion protesters where the right to protest has been thwarted. We are asking the Commissioner to confirm the investigation against Ms Smart is discontinued and she receive a fulsome apology.”

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