How is Europe cracking down on climate protests?

(Context, 8 Mar 2024) Activists protesting climate change in Europe face tougher penalties, surveillance and repression as authorities crack down

Across Europe, governments are introducing new rules, doling out stricter punishments and ramping up surveillance in response to a rise in climate demonstrations and direct action protests, such as blocking roads or throwing paint at artworks.

The clampdown could have a chilling effect on the ability of climate activists to protest and could constitute a threat to democracy, according to rights experts, the United Nations and the Council of Europe.

Rights groups also note that while climate protests often lead to arrests, authorities have acted less harshly towards farmers, who blocked roads this year to protest against green policies they blame for lost earnings. The European Union agreed to delay some green regulations to ease tensions.

Here are some of the ways European governments are cracking down on climate protesters.

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Context, 8 Mar 2024: How is Europe cracking down on climate protests?