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by Andrew Learmonth
06 November 2021
Thousands march through Glasgow to demand action on climate change

Thousands march through Glasgow to demand action on climate change

Thousands took to the streets of Glasgow to demand world leaders and countries at COP26 do more to tackle climate change.

There were easily more than 100,000 people in the rally, with organisers saying half a million had taken part in similar protests across the world. 

The main throng of the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice started in the city’s Kelvingrove Park in the west end, while others joined from feeder marches in the south side, and cyclists joined from Stirling and Edinburgh. 

The high turnout was despite gale-force winds and at times torrential rain. A temporary stage in Glasgow Green had to be abandoned due to safety concerns, with organisers forced to move speakers to a lorry. 

There were seemingly only a handful of arrests with members of Scientist Rebellion lifted by police after chaining themselves together on the King George V Bridge.

Charlie Gardner, an associate senior lecturer at Durell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, taking part in the protest, tweeted: "Over 15,000 scientists declared that we're in a climate emergency, but most aren't acting as if it's an emergency.

"We're taking this action to encourage others, scientists and all people, to rise up in rebellion against the system that is killing everything."

Police Scotland, who closed the bridge to pedestrians and vehicles, said: "We have facilitated a peaceful protest, but to balance right to protest with public safety and rights of the wider community, our protest removal team is safely removing protesters."

Another group of activists were kettled by the force between Holland Street and St Vincent Street in the city at around 3pm until just before 5pm. 

A statement posted on Police Scotland’s Twitter account read: “A group of people has deliberately stopped on the main parade route on Holland Street and St Vincent Street which is causing congestion issues. 

“Police are engaging with them to ensure the safety of everyone and to clear the route.”

However, the march was mostly without incident. There was a carnival atmosphere with at least two samba bands involved. Another group set up an impromptu rave on South Fredrick Street.

Asad Rehman, a spokesperson for the COP26 Coalition, said: "Many thousands of people took to the streets today on every continent demanding that governments move from climate inaction to climate justice. We won’t tolerate warm words and long term targets anymore, we want action now

“Today the people who have been locked out of this climate summit has their voices heard - and those voices will be ringing in the ears of world leaders as we enter the second week of negotiations.

“The climate crisis has resulted from our broken, unequal societies and economies. We must transform our global economies into ones that protect both people and our planet instead of profit for a few.”

Speaking at the rally, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Marshall Islands Climate Envoy to the United Nations, told activists: “We need the biggest emitters to be held responsible. We need financing to implement the solutions we are currently developing ourselves through our national adaptation plan. 

“We contribute 0.00005% of the world’s global emissions - we did nothing to contribute to this crisis, and we should not have to pay the consequences.

“We need to keep up the pressure that COP26 doesn’t allow offsets or endanger human rights and the rights of indigenous people.”

Asad Rehman, a spokesperson for the COP Coalition, said: "We are taking to the streets across the world this weekend to push governments from climate inaction to climate justice.

"This has been the least accessible climate summit ever - with so many people sidelined at the talks or not able to make it in the first place. Today those people are having their voices heard."


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