Edinburgh cost of living: Extinction Rebellion march to be held in protest against energy price rise

Climate emergency campaigners Extinction Rebellion Scotland plan to mount a “fossil fools” protest in Edinburgh on Saturday – the day of the energy price rise.

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Organisers say activists, including a doctor and a scientist, dressed in rags and with chains around their necks, will be led by others dressed as oil company bosses from Shell, BP and Russian energy giant, Gazprom.

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They plan to march from Princes Street to the UK Government headquarters in Edinburgh at Queen Elizabeth House in Sibbald Walk, off New Street, walking to a slow, solitary drumbeat and carrying placards with slogans such as “Can’t Heat and Eat” and “In Fuel Poverty”.

The organisers say on reaching the UK Government building at around 11.30am, the procession will be met by an activist dressed as Liz Truss, who will present the oil company bosses with a “licence to drill”. “Each will then daub their citizens in ‘oil’ as they kneel helplessly before them. Extinction Rebellion’s iconic Red Rebels will offer comfort to the citizens and encourage universal reflection on the multiple crises we face.”

The procession will then move on to the Scottish Parliament. The protest has been scheduled for the day that the UK’s £2,500 energy price cap announced by Liz Truss comes into force.

Extinction Rebellion says: "Coming on top of the rise on 1 April, this effectively doubles the price of energy in just six months. The rise is expected to throw 7 million households into fuel poverty and dramatically increases government borrowing. Repayment of this borrowing will fall on future generations but will drive up interest rates and weaken the pound, deepening the cost-of-living crisis.

"Truss’s unshakeable belief in the free market and her absolute support of the fossil fuel industry over our nation’s poorest comes at a time when gas is nine times more expensive than wind and accounts for 96 per cent of the rise in energy bills. The government will also issue 138 new licenses to drill in the North Sea despite the fact it takes years to bring new wells into production and that UK energy prices are directly linked to the international markets which cannot be abated by our production.”

Extinction Rebellion's Red Rebels will take part in Saturday's energy price protest in Edinburgh. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

Extinction Rebellion is also holding a public event open to all on Sunday October 2 at the Greyfriars Charteris Centre, 138-140 Pleasance, looking at the multiple crises now being faced.

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Mike Grant, 62, retired Army officer from Rosewell, said: “The climate crisis hit the UK with a vengeance this summer. The science has been clear for years but now we are seeing what that means in reality. And we have a war in Europe underpinned by oil and gas and a cost-of-living crisis that threatens to drive millions into poverty. At a time when wind is nine times cheaper than gas, our government-enabled addiction to fossil fuel has to end forever.”

And Simon Clark, 62, an architect in Edinburgh’s West End, said: “The fossil fuel industry has openly enslaved our society, allowing it to create havoc in the environment whilst making record profits with complete impunity. Our elected representatives have enabled this catastrophic state of affairs and failed to curb the industry’s obscene excesses. We need to acknowledge the single driving force behind this perfect storm of cost-of-living crisis, climate crisis and Putin’s war – fossil fuels.”

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