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Extinction Rebellion march through Edinburgh as COP26 begins

Extinction rebellion protest
Thursday 4th November 13.18

On Sunday 31 November, the day that COP26 began in Glasgow, hundreds of people were out, not trick-or-treating, but protesting.

These demonstrators were part of Extinction Rebellion (XR), a global environmental movement fighting against mass extinction and committed to the prevention of the collapse of climate and ecological systems. 

The march started from the Meadows at 11am, they hit George IV Bridge, Bank Street, North Bank Street, Market Street, Jeffrey Street, and Canongate before finally arriving at Holyrood at around 1pm. 

One group of campaigners held a banner that read “COP26: we are watching you” while one demonstrator brought an inflatable dinosaur with a sign that read “extinction sucks”. 

On Tuesday 2 November, activists could also be seen protesting in front of the JP Morgan Edinburgh offices. Some signs called for “banks stop financing fossil fuel polluters” while others read kKilling us deal by deal, JP More CO2 GAN climate criminals”. 

JP Morgan has provided £232 billion in funds for fossil fuel since the Paris climate agreement of 2015. 

There is concern that the Extinction Rebellion demonstrations could become disruptive, possibly even violent. 

A Scottish spokesperson for the group told The Sunday Times:  

“The UK government’s track record shows they are not taking climate change as seriously as the science is demanding. We are unwilling to put up with that any longer. 

“They should be very worried. We don’t want to add further disruption into ordinary peoples’ lives, but we are compelled by the inaction of governments, which is bound to create far greater disruption when the effects of the climate catastrophe are felt.” 

Other scheduled protests include: a Greenwash March planned for Wednesday 3 November starting from 12pm, Fridays for Future march on Friday 5 November at 11am, Global Day of Action (Justice March) on Saturday 6 November starting at 12pm. 

In response to these plans, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged the picketers to not contribute further to the “disruption and inconvenience” that Glaswegians are already facing. 

Yet the protestors remain adamant that their views need to be heard. 

Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News Mike Grant, who marched through Edinburgh with Extinction Rebellion, said: 

“I am marching today to make clear to those gathering for COP26 that the people demand far bolder and far faster action now. 

“Every fraction of a degree avoided is a life, a town, a species saved somewhere in the world. Our children’s children deserve nothing less from a generation that did so much to cause the problem.”

Image: Flickr