Climate blockade of Edinburgh city centre will be policed

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POLICE will patrol a planned blockade of North Bridge this afternoon by climate change activists, senior officers have confirmed.

The Extinction Rebellion group is planning to create a roadblock on the main route between the Old and New Towns from about 3pm and through the rush hour.

Four climate change protesters from Extinction Rebellion climbing the Finnieston Crane, Glasgow.

Four climate change protesters from Extinction Rebellion climbing the Finnieston Crane, Glasgow.

Superintendent Bob Paris said: “We are aware of a planned demonstration within Edinburgh city centre on Tuesday 16 April. A policing operation is in place to provide a proportionate response to any protest activity.

“The police have both a duty to prevent crime and disorder, and balance the qualified rights of protestors with the rights of the wider public under the European Convention on Human Rights.”

The action is part of an international week of protests calling for governments and councils around the world to declare a climate emergency.

On Monday, members of Extinction Rebellion Scotland climbed the Finnieston Crane in Glasgow and hung a banner reading ‘science not silence.’

In January, around 40 Extinction Rebellion activists peacefully occupied the debating chamber at the Scottish Parliament, staging an hour-long sit-in.

Traffic in Edinburgh city centre could be brought to a standstill - but one local councillor says the “radical action” is needed.

Gavin Corbett, green councillor for Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart, said: “I’m sure that the first reaction of many readers will be annoyance about the disruption.

“Extinction Rebellion have recognised that and apologised for it in advance.

“However, they are also quite right to take radical action. For 30 years we’ve known about the massive impact of climate breakdown and, sadly, for governments across the world and for the huge corporations behind them, all the science, all the evidence hasn’t been enough. “That’s why we now face an emergency situation which needs emergency action.”

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