The Guardian | Protest

'More birds, more trees': thousands march for nature in London – video

Thousands of people marched through central London to urge political leaders to take more decisive action in tackling the UK’s wildlife crisis. For the first time, mainstream organisations including the National Trust and the RSPB stood beside hunt saboteurs and direct action activists in the Restore Nature Now march, as campaigners called on the next government to take 'bold' steps to tackle the biodiversity crisis

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Thousands march in London to urge leaders to tackle wildlife crisis

Protest features 350 environmental groups demanding more robust action on UK wildlife loss

Thousands of people marched through central London to urge political leaders to take more decisive action in tackling the UK’s wildlife crisis.

The protest on Saturday culminated in a rally outside Parliament Square with speeches from prominent figures including the naturalists Chris Packham and Steve Backshall, and poetry readings and performances from Billy Bragg and Feargal Sharkey.

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Iran court overturns death sentence of rapper Toomaj Salehi, lawyer says

Musician, 33, faces retrial after being sentenced to death for ‘corruption on Earth’

Iran’s supreme court has overturned the death sentence imposed on the rapper Toomaj Salehi, his lawyer said.

The decision comes in the middle of Iran’s presidential election campaign but seems unrelated to the fierce public debates under way about Iran’s future direction, including the rights of women not to wear the hijab if they wish.

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Restore Nature Now: thousands to march in London calling for urgent action

Mainstream groups including National Trust and RSPB will join hunt saboteurs and direct action activists for first time

Crabs, badgers and scores of dragonfly wings will be among the fancy dress worn by thousands of people joining more than 350 environmental groups marching through London on Saturday to demand the next government does not “recklessly” ignore the nature crisis.

For the first time, mainstream organisations including the National Trust and the RSPB will stand beside hunt saboteurs and direct action activists in the Restore Nature Now march, as campaigners call on the next government to take “bold” steps to tackle the biodiversity crisis.

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In defence of the Environment Agency’s dedicated but overstretched staff | Brief letters

Loyal but underpaid | Extinction Rebellion | Ukraine and Elon Musk | Boris Johnson’s book | Rishi Sunak gets on a small boat

The long read (Dirty waters: how the Environment Agency lost its way, 13 June) does a disservice to the Environment Agency’s dedicated and loyal but underpaid staff that I represent. Although it is a category one responder – equivalent to the emergency services – its incident response services are woefully underfunded, relying on depleted volunteers. To safeguard its future, we need to see commitments for increased resourcing, continued independence and a reversal of the recruitment and retention crisis.
Sue Ferns
Senior deputy general secretary, Prospect union

• Zoe Williams writes: “This should be the climate crisis election ... Instead, we’re in fantasyland” (G2, 18 June). Indeed it should, and can, be. This Saturday, Extinction Rebellion will be in central London – with all the flair, intelligence and fun the public has come to expect – to ensure that what follows is a climate election. Get there if you can. If not, join your local XR branch and help turn dream into reality.
Caroline Roaf

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Activists tell UK arms makers they may face criminal liability over sales to Israel

Campaign groups write to 20 firms warning of potential war crimes for roles in production of F-35 fighter jets

Campaigners have written to the directors of 20 arms manufacturers based in the UK saying they may face criminal liability for failing to prevent war crimes if their companies continue to sell military equipment to Israel.

Four groups, including the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), have written to directors of arms companies that contribute parts or elements of the F-35 fighter jets used by Israel’s air force as part of the bombing of Gaza.

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Future impact of proposed fossil fuel projects must be assessed, UK court rules

Landmark judgment says planning bodies must account for burning of extracted fuel when considering site proposals

The climate impact of burning coal, oil and gas must be taken into account when deciding whether to approve projects, the supreme court in London has ruled.

The landmark judgment, handed down on Thursday, sets an important precedent on whether the “inevitable” future greenhouse gas emissions of a fossil fuel project should be considered.

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Planes spray-painted at UK airfield where Just Stop Oil says Taylor Swift jet landed – video

Just Stop Oil activists have sprayed two jets with orange paint at a private airfield in Stansted where they say Taylor Swift's plane landed before her shows at Wembley stadium. The group said on X: 'Private jet users are responsible for up to 40x as much carbon emissions compared with a commercial flight'. The previous day, Just Stop Oil protesters sprayed Stonehenge with orange powder paint before the summer solstice

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Workers at Premier Inn owner to protest at AGM against plans to cut 1,500 jobs

Unite union also considering employment tribunal claims for unfair dismissal against Whitbread

Workers are planning to demonstrate at Premier Inn owner Whitbread’s annual shareholder meeting over plans to cut 1,500 jobs amid rising profits.

The employees of restaurants including Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Beefeater plan to protest outside the company’s investor meeting in Dunstable, Bedfordshire on Tuesday.

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Police disperse anti-government protesters near Netanyahu's home in Jerusalem – video report

Footage from Jerusalem shows Israeli police using water cannon to disperse protesters who had gathered to call for an election to replace the Israeli prime minister. Protesters tried to march towards Benjamin Netanyahu's home after gathering outside the Knesset. They called for immediate elections and the release of the remaining hostages being held captive in Gaza.

The demonstrations came after the prime minister dissolved the three-person war cabinet that was tasked with handling the war against Hamas. Benny Gantz, a popular opposition lawmaker and former military chief, quit Netanyahu's governing coalition in frustration how the war was being handled. Protesters have announced a week of mass demonstrations to block highways and create disruption

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‘Stay angry as hell with our politicians’: Katharine Hamnett on politics, the planet and slogan T-shirts

The pioneering designer and activist has been making waves for decades. Now she’s back with an urgent message – and this time she won’t take no for an answer…

Katharine Hamnett has been plotting. On the cracked, peeling screen of her battered iPhone, she’s scrolling through what she hopes to be the blueprint for, come polling day, a ballot box-based revolution. It’s a PDF with an array of mocked-up billboards, each emblazoned with a policy or slogan. A designer and campaigner renowned for her political punchiness, she has made the text snappy and succinct, all in trademark capital letters. “In here is everything that’s missing,” she laments, “from this so-far awful election. Both main parties want us to feel like progressive ideas are in the bin. Forgotten. We mustn’t let them.”

She reels off a selection: “Vote freedom to protest; vote free education; vote save the NHS; vote let aid into Gaza now.” There are plenty more. “Vote legalise, nationalise and tax marijuana; vote help refugees; vote ceasefire; vote good, free public regional transport; vote roller-discos.” Yes, roller-discos. “I did some research while working with Podemos in Spain. They foster community and solidarity. Isn’t that fun?” Another, her overarching mantra: “Our vote is the most powerful tool to get the world we want. I want that one all over.”

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When protests cross the line into antisemitism, this hurts the Palestinian cause | Jo-Ann Mort

The pronounced antisemitism in recent protests is an unsettling phenomenon

Congratulations to the group of radical protesters who claim to be for the Palestinian cause in New York City. They brag online that they “shut down” the Nova exhibit on Wall Street and played out their day of rage throughout the subway system, against some museums and museum directors, and on the New York City streets and even hit some UN missions.

In reality, they didn’t shut down the Nova exhibit. The exhibit will probably get more attendees than anticipated and its presentation has been extended. The exhibit, which originated in Israel, presents oral history and artifacts of the horrific 7 October 2023 attack by Hamas on thousands of mostly generation Z and millennials who were at a rave enjoying music, drugs and dance.

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The Guardian view on Iran’s presidential election: more choice, but little real hope of change | Editorial

The regime is allowing a reformist to run because it wants to ensure more of the same. It will take a better offer to win back the people

The death of Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, in a helicopter crash last month was a shock. The 63‑year‑old hardliner was not only expected to run for a second term, but to be part of the looming transition: the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is 85 and has health problems. Some had even thought Raisi might succeed him.

Yet the repercussions have been muted. The first round of the presidential election is scheduled for 28 June, but no one expects Raisi’s replacement to bring significant political change. The regime’s priorities are continuity and stability. It knows it may soon have to reckon with the hostility of a second Trump administration and it faces widespread discontent at home, following the suppression of the massive Woman, Life, Freedom protests. The evidence of recent years suggest that it is more worried about conservative consolidation at the top than legitimacy from below.

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Attacks on Barclays put our staff at risk and are not justified by Middle East events | CS Venkatakrishnan

We are appalled by the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Gaza. Activists must not threaten my colleagues as a result of a disinformation campaign against us

Since last October, I have watched with increasing sorrow the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in the Middle East. Within Barclays, a global bank of which I am the chief executive, we have been deeply sympathetic about the overall suffering in the region. We have educated ourselves, contributed to supportive charities and consoled all our own colleagues who have experienced loss.

During this period, there has also been a campaign of disinformation against Barclays. The crux of the allegation is that we finance defence manufacturers and invest in them. Let me be clear about what we do and don’t do. Like other banks in the UK, we finance some companies making defence equipment, alongside their civilian products.

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Prominent China #MeToo journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin sentenced to five years in jail, supporters say

Sophia Huang Xueqin, who reported on #MeToo movement and Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, sentenced along with labour activist Wang Jianbing

A Chinese court has sentenced the prominent #MeToo journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin to five years in jail and the labour activist Wang Jianbing to three and a half years, almost 1,000 days after they were detained on allegations of inciting state subversion, according to supporters.

On Friday, supporters of the pair said the court had found them guilty and given Huang the maximum sentence. The jail terms would take into account the time they had already spent in detention. A copy of the verdict said Huang was also deprived of political rights for four years and fined $100,000 RMB (£10,800). Wang faced three years of deprivation of political rights and was fined $50,000 RMB.

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Ugandan oil pipeline protester allegedly beaten as part of ‘alarming crackdown’

Stephen Kwikiriza is one of 11 campaigners against EACOP targeted by authorities in past two weeks, rights group says

A man campaigning against the controversial $5bn (£4bn) east African crude oil pipeline (EACOP) is recovering in hospital after an alleged beating by the Ugandan armed forces in the latest incident in what has been called an “alarming crackdown” on the country’s environmentalists.

Stephen Kwikiriza, who works for Uganda’s Environment Governance Institute (EGI), a non-profit organisation, was abducted in Kampala on 4 June, according to his employer. He was beaten, questioned and then abandoned hundreds of miles from the capital on Sunday evening.

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Met police ‘using human rights laws to block trooping the colour protest’

Anti-monarchy group to challenge ’Kafkaesque’ move by force over Saturday’s event to mark king’s birthday

The anti-monarchy campaign group Republic has accused the Metropolitan police of seeking to use human rights legislation to block protests at this weekend’s trooping the colour.

In a move it described as ”Kafkaesque”, Republic claimed the force has written to it citing the ECHR, saying it was using ”the very law designed to protect the right to protest as justification for closing down protest”.

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The Guardian view on the rule of law in Hong Kong: the verdict of foreign judges is damning | Editorial

The conviction of peaceful pro-democracy activists is another shameful moment in the ongoing crackdown

Seven years ago, Lord Neuberger, a judge of the Hong Kong court of final appeal – and formerly president of the UK’s supreme court – described the Chinese region’s foreign judges as “canaries in the mine”. Their willingness to serve was a sign that judicial independence remained healthy, “but if they start to leave in droves, that would represent a serious alarm call”.

That was before the extraordinary uprising in 2019 to defend Hong Kong’s autonomy, and the crackdown that followed. The draconian national security law of 2020 prompted the resignation of an Australian judge, and two British judges quit in 2022. Last week, two more birds flew: Lord Sumption and Lord Collins of Mapesbury. Lord Sumption (with other judges) had said that continued participation was in the interests of the people of Hong Kong. Now he says that those hopes of sustaining the rule of law are “no longer realistic” and that “a [once] vibrant and politically diverse community is slowly becoming a totalitarian state”. He cited illiberal legislation, Beijing’s ability to reverse decisions by Hong Kong courts and an oppressive political environment where judges are urged to demonstrate “patriotism”.

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Wallace and Gromit image pasted over king’s portrait by animal rights activists

Two Animal Rising supporters cover monarch’s face with Wallace character in protest against RSPCA-assured farms

Animal rights activists have pasted a picture of the stop-motion cartoon character Wallace, from Wallace and Gromit, over the new portrait of King Charles, in a protest highlighting alleged cruelty at RSPCA-accredited farms.

Two supporters of the group Animal Rising entered the Philip Mould gallery in central London after midday on Tuesday and carried out what they described as a “comedic redecoration” of the portrait with apparently self-adhesive posters pressed into place with paint rollers.

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