North Bridge climate change roadblock could bring Edinburgh city centre to standstill

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

The Extinction Rebellion group is planning to create a roadblock on North Bridge from about 3pm on Tuesday, April 16th, lasting through the rush hour period.

Protests have already taken place in Glasgow. Pic: Extinction Rebellion/Google Maps

Protests have already taken place in Glasgow. Pic: Extinction Rebellion/Google Maps

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

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.

“I’d rather things had not got to this point. But until there is a response in line with the scale of the challenge then protests like this and like the school climate strikes are going to increase in number and size and across many countries.”

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

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

On their Facebook page for the planned North Bridge roadblock, the Extinction Rebekllion group said: “We are bold. We will not hide. We are in open rebellion. We are prepared to risk it all for our futures. We will be blocking roads in the centre of Edinburgh on April 16th as part of Extinction Rebellion’s International Rebellion - joining together and occupying the streets to bring about change, as our activist ancestors have done before us.

“Business as usual is leading us to the brink of extinction. In accordance with our conscience and as a clear duty to our children, our communities, this nation, and the planet, we rebel against this criminally negligent government. We are going to act, and in acting together we will overcome.”

Extinction Rebellion was launched last October with the backing of 100 academics and the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

They were also behind a recent semi-naked sit-in protest at Westminster.

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