Banners dropped from Finnieston Crane and Glasgow City Chambers announce the start of International Rebellion

Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion Glasgow dropped a huge banner from Finnieston Crane today with the message: ‘Science not silence”.

Climbers with ropes scaled the iconic structure and hung the banner, which was designed to be visible from the BBC Scotland building, to remind the BBC and the people of Glasgow that there are only 11 years left to save the world from the catastrophic impacts of climate change, according to an IPCC report in October 2018. [1] Police officers arrived at the scene at around 7am. There were no arrests.

The banner, and a series of further actions in Edinburgh, are part of a week of international protest organised by the Extinction Rebellion network to demand the declaration of a Climate Emergency by the world’s governments. Protests, including civil disobedience, are planned in 27 countries. In London, thousands gather this morning in Parliament Square, calling on the Government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 and establish a Climate Citizens Assembly to make the necessary changes to achieve this.

In George Square at the same time, banners were hung across the main entrance of the City Chambers. One read: “When the last tree has fallen, Humanity can’t hide, Money won’t solve it, What’s your alibi?”.

A local member of Extinction Rebellion explained: ‘We are just ordinary citizens like you and we want the council to act responsibly and save us from this accelerating disaster which may lead to serious flooding and food shortages in Scotland and across the world. 27 other UK councils have declared a climate emergency. Why hasn’t Glasgow?’ [2]

As part of the same action, artistically painted traffic cones were placed on the heads of several of the statues in George Square. Daryl Tayar, another member of Extinction Rebellion, commented: ‘I’m sure Robert Burns would’ve been happy to wear such a symbol – his poetry shows just how much he loved the environment and of course how radical his politics were. He said it himself: ‘I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion has broken Nature’s social union’. If he were alive today, he’d be asking the City Council to declare a climate emergency urgently.’

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, a Festival of Climate Reality is taking place all day, while roadblocks are planned for Tuesday, both organised by Extinction Rebellion Scotland. [3] On Wednesday activists will be heading for London to join the actions there, which are planned to bring London to a standstill and will continue until the UK government is willing to declare a climate emergency.