Extra security at Scottish Parliament as climate change activists set up camp
Security has been stepped up at the Scottish Parliament, with visitors banned from taking bags and liquids into the building.
The new measures, brought in on Monday, have been introduced as a direct result of Extinction Rebellion setting up a protest camp outside the parliament.
An email from the chief executive’s office to all staff said: “Based on their past behaviour, we believe it is possible that Extinction Rebellion will seek to disrupt parliamentary business via protests inside and outside of the Holyrood building.”
In response to the arrival of the protest group, which coincides with the Climate Change Bill going before MSPs, increased security searches at the public entrance have been brought in to “guard against protest materials being brought into the building”.
In addition, all bags brought into the building via the public entrance will be placed into a baggage store and visitors are not allowed to take liquids into the building.
The email states: “We appreciate the inconvenience these changes to access may cause for some visitors and have taken these steps with a degree of reluctance.
“However, the SPCB has a duty to safeguard the rights and access of all those who wish to engage with their parliament and to ensure that parliamentary business can take place as planned.”
In April, climate change campaigners Extinction Rebellion blocked one of the main roads into the city centre, which resulted in 29 arrests.
Earlier this month, a group of activists chained themselves to the Scottish Parliament and sent keys to each of the political parties at Holyrood in a bid to force them to go outside and discuss climate change with them.