A CALL to ban environmental protesters from blocking city centre roads in the future was rejected by the council.

Councillor Alan Amos said parts of Worcester were “deliberately and completely unnecessarily” brought to a standstill by “eco-fascists” Extinction Rebellion last month and the council should urgently be meeting with police to stop it from happening again.

Cllr Amos said everybody was entitled to protest but it should not be at the expense of people travelling to work, school and hospital.

The motion discussed at a full meeting of Worcester City Council on Tuesday (October 22) was rejected.

READ MORE: Extinction Rebellion Worcester holds 'die-in' after councillor calls on police to stop more road-block protests

READ MORE: 'Arrest them all': Anger over Extinction Rebellion's Worcester roadblock protest

Cllr Adrian Gregson, leader of the council’s Labour group, said the motion was flawed as police “worked to different rules” and never came to its decisions about facilitating protests after discussions with the council. He said the police always told the council what it planned to do and demanding urgent meetings with the chief constable would never work.

He said calling for the prevention of further disruption also made the motion flawed as disruption was such a “wide-ranging term.”

He said: “Does this mean we can no longer march down the High Street? Stand in the High Street? Stand in Cathedral Square? Because that is what this motion is saying.”

Cllr Louis Stephen, leader of the council’s Green group, said he would not be supporting the motion. He said there was a long history of non-violent direct action leading to positive change in society and democracies should not be blocking the right to protest.

Cllr Chris Mitchell said he had no issue with the protest but it was unfair to disrupt other people from going about their lives.

He said: “Lawful obstruction of the highway is an offence even if you have the right to protest and that is what took place. I think it is unfair on the people of Worcester who are trying to get to work or take their children to school who cannot do so because of unlawful activity.”

Cllr Jabba Riaz said he would not condone the actions of Extinction Rebellion but any measure to stifle debate or the right to protest would only fuel the movement. He said many groups had gained rights throughout history by peaceful and non-violent protest.

He said the right to protest was enshrined in democracy, a principle that had permitted the English Defence League (EDL) to protest in the city twice last year and asked where the council motions had been calling for a ‘ban’ on the EDL from protesting.

Cllr Marc Bayliss, leader of the city council, reacted angrily to the accusation and said he had received death threats after taking on far-right nationalists Britain First outside the Guildhall earlier this year.

He said: "I will not take any lectures about not standing up to far-right extremists in this country. He knows that happened and I regret that he has decided to make comments about the EDL."