Police arrest climate activists during protest outside Scottish parliament

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A climate crisis protester has been arrested after a human chain was formed outside the Scottish parliament.

Two protesters glued themselves to the ground, blocking the entrance and exit at Holyrood’s car park. Police said one has been arrested.

Activists demonstrated outside entrances to the Scottish parliament as MSPs debated new legislation on setting targets to tackle climate change.


A total of 13 people were charged after activists blocked a main road in the city for around six hours on Monday by locking themselves together.

“It’s not good enough. We need an emergency response.”

Organisers Extinction Rebellion Scotland criticised MSPs for voting through amendments to the Climate Change Bill to cut greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2045, 20 years past the target campaigners want.

The group’s social media co-ordinator, Lauren McGlynn, said this is “disappointing”, adding: “It doesn’t seem like they are listening to us.”

The 2045 target meets recommendations in a recent Committee for Climate Change report, but McGlynn said:

2045 is ecocide. We’re already seeing the effects of climate change, people are already dying, we’re already seeing catastrophic storms, wildfire, bleaching of coral reefs, the ocean is danger.

It’s not good enough. We need an emergency response.

The First Minister has declared a climate emergency and this is not a Climate Bill fit for an emergency.

She also insisted that Scotland as a wealthy nation should be doing more, and parliament could be taking further action.

She said two protesters were arrested after gluing themselves outside parliament in a bid to force MSPs to pass through the human chain, and some of the politicians had engaged with campaigners.

Climate protest
Green MSP Andy Wightman speaking to climate campaigners (Lewis McKenzie/PA)

The action comes during a five-day protest outside the Scottish parliament, dubbed the Holyrood Rebel Camp, due to run until Thursday.

Sarah Mercer, an activist from the Isle of Man taking part in the protests, said:

This really is the biggest cultural revolution that we’re going to go through in our living memory and to be honest with you, in most of human existence.

I think that being a part of the change of being on the right side of history is really important and we’d like other people to be on the right side of history so that’s why we’re here and talking to people and getting engaged with politicians.

Protests on Monday caused travel delays, diverting a number of bus routes as protectors blockaded Lothian Road and attempted to stage road blocks on the Royal Mile.

Extinction Rebellion protest – Edinburgh
Climate change protesters from Extinction Rebellion Scotland handcuffed together form a road block on Lothian Road (Jane Barlow/PA)

Police said six men aged 46, 57, 53, 19, 68 and 25 were charged in connection with the Lothian Road blockade.

A further two men, aged 32 and 49, and five women aged 61, 18, 41, 57 and 37 were charged following other disruption in the city.

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