Cop26: Arrests as hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters march through Glasgow

Police also confiscated a giant inflatable Loch Ness Monster, saying it breached maritime law

Lamiat Sabin
Wednesday 03 November 2021 21:08
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Climate activists hold protest march against ‘greenwashing’ in Glasgow, UK 1
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Five people have been arrested during lively protests in Glasgow while the Cop26 summit takes place.

Police Scotland said that two of the arrests were made after a number of officers were sprayed with paint during an Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstration. Spray-paint cans were seized.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said the “assaults on officers” are “totally unacceptable”.

Hundreds of climate activists were marching through the Scottish city in several separate protests while heads of state discuss the financial and banking system at the climate conference.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak was there to announce that financial institutions controlling 40 per cent of global assets will align themselves to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C limit for global warming.

After starting from Buchanan Street after midday, XR protesters marched though the city centre and stopped traffic in several streets.

Several activists have staged a sit-down protest outside the offices of multinational energy company SSE in Waterloo Street.

Protesters also marched outside the JP Morgan offices.

Images show hundreds of protesters marching in central Glasgow surrounded by police officers from all sides.

Robb Callender, a protester from London, said police were being “quite aggressive” towards those on the march.

He said SSE were “talking a big talk but doing nothing” on the climate.

Scuffles broke out after XR protesters tried to stop two men holding up a banner reading “control the borders, not our boilers”.

In the morning, activists campaigning against the Cambo oil field staged a mock ceremony featuring an activist dressed as “the Queen” with trumpet and tuba players announcing her arrival.

The young activist – dressed as the monarch to some extent by wearing a toy plastic tiara, grey wig, Dr Martens boots, and a sash that says ‘Stop Cambo’ – turned off the “tap” to the oil pipeline.

Campaign groups Friends of the Earth Scotland, Platform and Stop Cambo carried out the stunt on the steps of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Buchanan Street on the anniversary of the Queen inaugurating the flow of North Sea oil in 1975.

Caroline Rance, of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “It has been 46 years since the Queen turned on the tap: it is high time we turned it off and stopped the continual flow of oil and gas.

“If we want a liveable climate, scientists are telling us there can be no fossil fuel developments – oil and gas, as well as coal – from now on.

“Boris Johnson, as host of these climate talks, must demonstrate what real climate action looks like.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said an environmental review of the Cambo field in the North Sea should be carried out before extraction begins.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has backed the new oil field, saying Cambo is “priced in” to the UK Government’s plans to reduce emissions.

Elsewhere on the streets of Glasgow, indigenous island residents marched from Glasgow Green to the Cop26 site to protest over their homes being submerged.

Agar Iklenia Tejada, 31, a member of the Guna community in Panama, cried when she said: “Three of our islands are already underwater.

“We are moving from the islands to the mountains or the coasts already … However, we are going to keep fighting to conserve and preserve our traditions, our origin and who we are.”

After the group were briefly denied entry to Cop26, they entered with the intention of meeting Alok Sharma, president of the summit and Cabinet Office minister.

Meanwhile, a giant inflatable Loch Ness Monster was seized by police after officers decided that the creature of Scottish legend was in breach of maritime law.

The Jubilee Debt Campaign hoped to launch Nessie – dubbed the Loch Ness Debt Monster – into the River Clyde from the Govan Graving Docks to float past the Cop26 conference site.

The stunt was intended to highlight the growing threat of climate debt burdens for poorer countries.

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