Disruption expected in Edinburgh during 5-day Extinction Rebellion Scotland protest

Residents in Edinburgh will face disruption next week during five days of protest by Extinction Rebellion Scotland over amendments to the new Climate Bill in Scotland.

Friday, 14th June 2019, 15:08 pm
Extinction Rebellion protesters at the last climate change protest on Edinburgh's North Bridge. Pic: Extinction Rebellion Scotland.

In a statement released today, they say The Holyrood Rebel Camp will run from June 16-20 and that campers will participate in "non-violent direct action" in Edinburgh which "may be a disruption to the public."

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."

Extinction Rebellion protesters at the last climate change protest on Edinburgh's North Bridge. Pic: Extinction Rebellion Scotland.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Holyrood Rebel Camp will be Extinction Rebellion Scotland's biggest gathering ever, with protesters from across the UK set to occupy the space outside of Scottish Parliament.

The 5-Day Protest

Events will include a march by protesters on Monday, June 17 from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood along the Royal Mile as a 'parade of life' dressed as animals and in bright colours.

On Sunday, June 16, cyclists will 'pedal to parliament' from Glasgow to Edinburgh to join the camp while the Wee Rebellion, a branch of Extinction Rebellion made up of families with children, will demonstrate at Parliament with props and banners.

Other events in the programme include educational and creative workshops, yoga, mindfulness and self-care sessions, as well as talks on non-violent rebellion and people's assemblies to to find solutions to the ecological and climate crisis.

The Climate Bill itself is due to be debated in Parliament on Tuesday, June 18. In the morning, protesters plan to form a 'human chain' around the building.

On Wednesday, June 19th there will be numerous talks, workshops and activities like singing, knitting and dance.

On Thursday, June 20th there will be a 'giant dance of the dead' and 'mass die-in' outside Parliament at noon. The idea is that protesters come in pairs, one dressed in black and the other in bright colours, to "symbolise the alternatives that we're faced with."

The closing ceremony for the camp will be at 4pm on Thursday.

Open invitations will be extended to politicians, unions, NGOs and other groups to engage in democratic discussions with the public.

Why Here? Why Now?

Extinction Rebellion say it's because Scotland is recognised by many as being a world leader on climate change. They say the Climate Bill passed by Scottish Parliament will put pressure on other governments to do the same.

Scottish Ministers have proposed amendments to the Bill which will set a 2045 target for net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases.

But Extinction Rebellion say effects of climate change are already visible, and demand we reach net zero by 2025.

They say: "If this becomes legally binding legislation, it will be a step of historic proportions and will set a global precedent."

Protesters say more frequent and severe extreme weather events - droughts, flooding, hurricanes and rising sea levels - can not be ignored.

Citing the IUCN Red List, the group says 'ecological collapse' is happening now with more than 26,000 species threatened with extinction.

Extinction Rebellion also refer to the World Health Organisation report, 'How air pollution is destroying our health,' which says a combination of outdoor and household air pollution causes about seven million premature deaths each year.