Informed Dissent Resources

There is no such thing as an 'unarrestable offence'. This is something we should all know when participating in a protest. But, as we also know knowledge is power. Being well equipped with the knowledge of your rights and duties in regards to yourself and others you will be better off than going into a possibly 'arrestable' situation blind. This is a list of the resources made available on the Informed Dissent Website. We have collated a few of the links we think may be useful to you in the pages of this book. There is more information in the website. feel free to browse it too.

Informed Dissent main webpage Link

Welcome to Informed Dissent.

This website provides resources to help you make informed decisions when protesting in the England and Wales.

If you do have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to email us at: informeddissent@riseup.net

We are an group of volunteers, who have experience in activist legal support and so our information is generally applicable to different kinds of protest in England and Wales.

We try to include "XR Note: "wherever any information specifically applies to XR, due to the difference in legal support structure between XR and the wider activist legal support community.

Much love, rage and solidarity,

Informed Dissent

Bust Cards Links for Each UK Region

Note: the following bustcards have been amended on 25 August 2020. If you accessed the bustcards before that, please delete those versions and use the new versions below.

XR Note:

XR bustcards are different to those used by other activists. Please see a list of non-XR bustcards at the bottom of this page.

Frequently Used Laws at a Protest

Info included in the above link:

  1. Obstruction of the Highway
  2. Conditions Placed on a Protest
  3. Trespass and Aggravated Trespass
  4. Criminal Damage and Theft
  5. Breach of the Peace
  6. Public Nuisance
  7. Obstruction of a Police Officer & Assault PC
  8. Violent Disorder

NB: This is not an exhaustive list and only takes into account protest related law. There are other charges that are bought against protestors that are rare, hard to predict and can have lengthier trials, heavier sentences and higher costs. Examples would be charges in other areas of the law such as terrorism or aviation, byelaws, or civil claims.

If you have specific questions about future planned actions, please email hypothetical questions to xr-legal@riseup.net two weeks prior to action day. The reason we ask for them to be hypothetical is to reduce the chance that people answering them could be considered complicit.

The majority of the information below has been taken from the Green and Black Cross website, greenandblackcross.org, with many thanks and huge appreciation.

Witnessing an Arrest

Witnessing an Arrest

Main points on this page:


When at a protest, there is no such thing as people who are 'non-arrestable'. This is because of the fact that anyone engaging in Non-Violent Direct Action or other forms of protest can be arrested. It is all at the discretion of police officers.

Witnessing an arrest is a skill not a role. A legal observer (LO) is more trained and experienced and has a precise role like a paramedic. Witnessing an arrest is like being trained in first aid, it is useful and could save someone's life, but no replacement for a paramedic.

If there are no LOs witnessing the arrest, then it is important for bystanders to step in to witness the arrest and make sure that the rights of the arrestee are being upheld.

In the situation of arrest, actively witnessing an arrest in the way described here may draw extra attention from the police. Please prioritise your own welfare.


Witnessing an arrest can be difficult and it is a different experience for everyone. Your wellbeing and safety is a priority!

Some tips:

Read through this informative list: