Police charge 13 people over Edinburgh Extinction Rebellion protests

More than a dozen people have been charged following disruption in Edinburgh city centre yesterday.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 12:57 pm
Extinction Rebellion protesters on Lothian Road, Edinburgh

Members of environmental crisis campaign group Extinction Rebellion Scotland brought the West End to a standstill at rush hour on Monday – tying themselves together and blocking a major road.

Police attended the blockade on Lothian Road and responded to activist protests at North Bridge and George IV Bridge.

A police spokesman said officers on the scene made 'continued' efforts to encourage protesters to leave Lothian Road voluntarily.

However when they chose to stay on the road they were arrested.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The six men from the Lothian Road blockade; aged 46, 57, 53, 19, 68 and 25; were arrested along with two men aged 32 and 49 and five women aged 61, 18, 41, 57 and 37, following other disruption activity in the Capital.

An encampment has been set up by demonstrators outside the Scottish parliament and is due to continue for another two days.

Chief Superintendent Matt Richards from Police Scotland said: "First and foremost I want to thank the communities of Edinburgh for their patience and co-operation while we dealt with the events that took place within the city centre on Monday afternoon and into the evening.

"Our number one priority is, and always will be, public safety and we took all the necessary steps to remove demonstrators without risking injury to them, our officers or others in the area.

"While we fully support the right to peaceful demonstration, any action which puts members of the public at risk of injury, or has an impact on the city's infrastructure, is unacceptable.

"We have outlined our stance to the protesters and remain in dialogue with them, while at the same time we continue to plan for any further activity that may occur over the coming days."

Extinction Rebellion Scotland say they want the government to do more to 'combat the climate crisis and ecological breakdown' by bringing in a bill that includes a net-zero emissions target by 2025, instead of the current 2045 recommendation.

They also want a Climate Citizens' Assembly to be created to oversee the changes necessary to mitigate against climate change and enable to transition to a 'just, carbon-free society.'