Extinction Rebellion protester arrested after climbing onto roof of Scottish parliament

61-year-old activist arrested by police officers upon his descent

Ella Glover
Thursday 04 March 2021 17:16
Comments
<p>The lone <a href="/news/world/asia/disha-ravi-climate-activist-arrest-india-b1804210.html">climate activist</a> unfurled a banner reading “Climate Assembly, be bold” as part of a call for a more radical approach from Scotland’s Climate Assembly on Thursday morning</p>

The lone climate activist unfurled a banner reading “Climate Assembly, be bold” as part of a call for a more radical approach from Scotland’s Climate Assembly on Thursday morning

An Extinction Rebellion protester has been arrested after climbing into the roof of the Scottish Parliament.

The lone climate activist unfurled a banner reading “Climate Assembly, be bold” as part of a call for a more radical approach from Scotland’s Climate Assembly on Thursday morning.

Police officers were waiting at the entrance of the Scottish Parliament and arrested the 61-year-old protester upon descent. 

The Climate Assembly, which was created as part of the 2019 Climate Change Act, has been accused of being “frightened of rocking the boat”. 

Extinction Rebellion, the radical climate activism group, said they were part of the assembly’s stewarding group but had pulled out. 

Justin Kenrick, a former member of the stewarding group, said: “There was never any evaluation of the seriousness of the climate emergency.

“There was a lot of focus on being fair to different sectors in Scotland but not fairness to those elsewhere in the world suffering now or to future generations. To be fair in that fundamental way you have to first assess how serious the emergency is, and the assembly never collectively had the opportunity to do that.”

Extinction Rebellion member Kate Dyer added: “This is the moment where we actually have a real chance of circumventing the status quo of traditional politics which is only committed to not rocking the boat.

“The citizens sitting in this assembly have a chance to respond to the root causes of this emergency and turn the ship around. We are asking assembly members to be bold.”

A spokesperson for Scotland’s Climate Assembly told The Independent: “The Climate Assembly has deliberated on a broad range of robust and complex evidence over the past several months. This evidence gave a clear picture of the severity of the climate emergency.

“Our members – more than 100 people from all walks of life across Scotland – are now working hard to agree their recommendations for how the country should tackle the climate emergency in an effective and fair way.”

The spokesperson added: “Of course we welcome a lively public debate on these vital issues.

“The Assembly operates independently, following a rigorous process based on international best practices for participatory democracy, and it is for members alone to decide their recommendations.

“The Assembly benefited from input from Extinction Rebellion early on in the process as members of our stewarding group and it was disappointing when they chose not to continue with this role.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers were called to the Scottish Parliament building Edinburgh, around 7.35am on Thursday March 4 2021, following reports a person was on the roof.

“A 61-year-old man has been arrested and inquiries continue.”

In January, Extinction Rebellion raised £10,000 through a crowdfunding campaign which they said will be used to save 30,000 oak saplings.

The oaks were sold to Extinction Rebellion by Maelor Forest Nurseries near Wrexham for 22p each. 

Levels of tree planting across England are still far below the level needed to meet government targets and reduce the impact of the climate crisis.

Additional reporting by PA Media

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