An exclusion zone is a zone established by a sanctioning body to prohibit specific activities in a specific geographic area. These zones are created for control of populations for safety, crowd control, or military purposes, and they may be temporary or permanent.
Nuclear disaster exclusion zones
Large-scale geographic exclusion zones have been established after major disasters in which nuclear power plants went into meltdown:
- Chernobyl Exclusion Zone - Ukraine, established 1986.
- Fukushima Exclusion Zone - Japan, established 2011.
Natural disaster exclusion zones
Similarly, exclusion zones have been established due to natural disasters. An exclusion zone is located on the island of Montserrat, where the long-dormant Soufrière Hills volcano started erupting in 1995 and has continued eruptions since. It encompasses the south part of the island, accounting for over half of its land mass and most populated areas of the island prior to the volcano. The volcano destroyed the island's urban center and capital Plymouth, as well as many other villages and neighborhoods. The zone is now strictly enforced; entry into most of the destroyed areas is prohibited, while some areas are subject to restrictions during volcanic activity or open only as a "daytime entry zone".
Exclusion zones are commonly used in the construction industry world wide. For this purpose they are defined locations to prohibit the entry of personnel in to danger areas, established through the risk assessment process for a construction activity. Typically, exclusion zones are setup and maintained around plant and below work at height.
With regard to protesting, an exclusion zone is an area that protesters are legally prohibited from protesting in.
Exclusion zones often exist around seats of government and abortion clinics. As a result of protests by the Westboro Baptist Church at the funerals of soldiers killed in the Iraq War, 29 states and the US Congress created exclusion zones around soldiers' funerals. In 2005, the Parliament of the United Kingdom created a one kilometre exclusion zone around itself.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law... abridging... the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The existence of exclusion zones is based on court rulings that allow the government to regulate the time, place, and manner of protests.
An exclusion zone is related to a free speech zone. Protesters are required to picket in a free speech zone, thus rendering the area around the free speech zone to be an exclusion zone.
- "exclusion zone", Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (United States Department of Defense), retrieved February 26, 2013
- Funeral protesters say laws can't silence them
- Exclusion Zone to Parliament Protests
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