Extinction Rebellion is deliberately structured to make it difficult to deal with them as an organisation. Extinction Rebellion describe themselves as a “do-it-together movement“; in reality this means they simply operate along the lines of the classic twentieth-century cell structure long used by terrorist groups. This makes it hard to punish the organisation for digging up Trinity College Cambridge’s ancient quad, digging up the turf outside the Home Office, spray painting the Bank of England or countless other acts of vandalism like today’s attack on the HQ of Barclays Bank. The individuals responsible suffer little in consequence and the organisation goes entirely unscathed.
Extinction Rebellion says more than 3,400 of its people have been arrested, with about 1,700 charged, mostly for minor public order offences such as obstructing the highway. About 900 people have pleaded guilty and another 800 have either been tried or were still awaiting their day in court. The activists who cause massive damage to property or losses by their actions receive minimal punishment. Small fines and suspended sentences being the rule in most cases. The organisation’s campaign of criminal damage goes unchecked as a result.
The doctrine of common purpose, common design, joint enterprise, or joint criminal enterprise is a common law legal doctrine that imputes criminal liability to all the participants in a criminal enterprise for all that results from that enterprise. Surely it is not beyond the wit of the Director of Public Prosecutions to construct cases against the self-confessed “do-it-together movement” that they are a joint enterprise with the individual perpetrators of criminal damage and disruption. The current DPP Max Hill QC was previously the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, responsible for an investigative review of the use of terrorism legislation following the Westminster Bridge attacks. If anyone can, Hill should be able to figure out how to go after the funding and funders of XR’s eco-terror campaign.
Extinction Rebellion has millions in various associated bank accounts, not least hundreds of thousands in a legal defence fund. Those funds should be sequestered and paid out in compensation to those who have suffered losses as a result of the pointless disruption. Jailing hundreds of protestors would be counter-productive, defunding the organisation will be cost-effective. Follow the money…