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Oil company's 'draconian and anti-democratic' injunction challenged

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theguardian.com
http://www.theguardian.com/



Oil company's 'draconian and anti-democratic' injunction challenged
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/02/oil-companys-draconian-and-anti-democratic-injunction-challenged





'Six environmental campaigners have taken legal action to overturn a broad injunction which is being sought by an energy firm against protesters.

The group went to the high court in London on Monday to oppose the injunction which is being sought by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG).

They have accused UKOG of attempting to stifle protest in a “draconian and chillingly anti-democratic” fashion.

The injunction – addressed to “persons unknown” – would cover all campaigners who protest at three UKOG sites in southeast England. Anyone breaking the injunction could be jailed, fined or have their assets seized. Spam_A Spam_B The legal move comes amid accusations that corporate firms are using injunctions to stymie protests against them. At least five firms have sought injunctions against environmental protesters.

A previous court case has heard that police officers who monitor protesters had advised energy companies to take out injunctions against campaigners.

UKOG, which wants to drill for oil in Sussex and Surrey, says it is seeking the injunction against unlawful actions such as trespass and obstruction of the highway, as well as techniques used by protesters such as walking slowly in front of contractors’ vehicles.

The firm says it does “not seek to silence lawful protest – it is solely unlawful activity that we are asking the court to give us protection from”.

It argues that it has been compelled to take “this serious legal action to protect itself, its supply chain and landlords from threats and unlawful conduct from activists who are intent on preventing us from going about our lawful business”. It says that it has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds in recent years to counter protesters.'



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