COP26: Climate change protesters must not to distract from their message by causing too much disruption – Steve Cardownie

The news that environmental activist Greta Thunberg will participate in “Friday’s For Future” Glasgow school strike march on November 5 is sure to boost the number of participants as they seek to convince world leaders attending the COP26 conference to take the appropriate action to avert a climate change disaster.

By Steve Cardownie
Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 12:30 pm
Climate change protests can make a difference but too much disruption could alienate people (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Climate change protests can make a difference but too much disruption could alienate people (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The march is due to leave Kelvingrove Park at 11am and will terminate in George Square. Organisers have welcomed all ages and have sensibly advised that masks should be worn and Covid guidelines should be followed.

Due to begin this Sunday and continue through to November 12, the conference will ensure that Glasgow will be put under the spotlight, not just for the important matters on the agenda but also how protesters conduct themselves during the proceedings.

As a participant in many marches and protests in my time from, for example, Grunwick’s to the Shrewsbury Pickets and from Rock Against Racism to anti-public expenditure cuts, I am acutely aware of the impact such protests potentially have.

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I have witnessed protests where order has been rigorously maintained and also when it has broken down to the extent that mayhem has ensued as a result.

The environmental campaigners preparing to visit Glasgow have a great deal of public support and well-conducted protests can help to increase awareness and concern about the extremely serious climate change issues facing this planet.

Civil disobedience is expected and, if kept within reasonable confines, should not be a matter of too much concern. But serious disruption to everyday lives may detract from the message – which would be a great pity.

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