In balancing rights of peaceful protest against a retailer’s entitlement to operate free from trespass, nuisance and harassment, the High Court has stepped in to further limit the activities of anti-fur trade protestors in the vicinity of the Harrods department store.
Members of the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT) had been demonstrating in the area around Harrods for a number of years and had been the subject of an injunction since 2005. The order had been amended several times since then and placed restrictions, inter alia, on the times and locations of demonstrations.
Broadening the zone around the store in which protests are not permitted, the court accepted Harrods’ arguments that the pedestrianisation of a neighbouring street and an increasing number of ‘red carpet’ events, in which well know personalities visit the store, had made such an amendment necessary. Fresh limits were also placed on the use of loud hailers, cameras and film recording equipment by demonstrators in the vicinity of the store.
CAFT pointed out that protestors had behaved responsibly and that none of them had been convicted of any offence in relation to the demonstrations since the injunction was first granted. Although noting that there was no sign of Harrods ceasing to sell fur goods, or of protestors calling a halt to their demonstrations, the court declined Harrods’ application to make the injunction permanent. The amended order was instead extended for a further five years.