Scotland’s International Rebellion

Welcome to the Rebellion – Science Not Silence

– Extinction Rebellion Scotland herald Scotland’s Rebellion by dropping banners over Edinburgh’s iconic Victoria Street, from Glasgow’s Finnieston Crane and across the City Chambers in George Square, Glasgow ahead of two days of education and disruption in the Scottish capital. 

– Extinction Rebellion Scotland hold two days of education and disruption in the capital with activists arriving from all over the country, some cycling from Inverness. 

– Monday 15th sees the ‘Festival of Climate Reality’ taking place at Edinburgh University’s Lister Building; a day of workshops, talks and trainings about the reality of the climate emergency and what to do about it. 

– On Tuesday 16th, Extinction Rebellion Scotland will block off North Bridge over rush hour, disrupting business as usual to ring the alarm on the climate and ecological crisis. 

– These actions are part of the International Rebellion which begins in over 80 cities across at least 33 countries on Monday 15th April 2019. 

Extinction Rebellion Scotland have this morning dropped banners over Victoria Street in Edinburgh, from Finnieston Crane and across City Chambers, George Sq Glasgow to herald the beginning of the International Rebellion, reading “Tell The Truth” and “Welcome to the Rebellion” in Edinburgh and “Science not Silence” and “When the last tree has fallen, Humanity can’t hide, Money won’t solve it, What’s your alibi?” in Glasgow.
This is the beginning of two days of education and disruption in the capital, part of the International Rebellion, where thousands of people across the globe will disrupt ‘business as usual’. [1] Activists from across Scotland have been converging on Edinburgh, with some cycling from Inverness.

Tomorrow, North Bridge will be blocked from 3pm to create widespread traffic and economic disruption. 

Festival of Climate Reality 
In Scotland today, day one features a “Festival of Climate Reality” at the Lister Building, Edinburgh Uni, a day of talks, workshops, trainings and space to think about the reality of the climate crisis and what to do about it. [2]

Lykke Harris from Glasgow, 23, sustainable events and communication manager, “I believe in telling the truth about the crisis that our environment and species is facing. Our festival of climate reality will not only act as a platform for information sharing but as a space to talk about the possible solutions, including a citizens assembly.”

“This is an emergency and for emergency situations we need emergency action.” – Ban Ki-Moon, former UN Secretary General. Debora Roberts co-chair IPCC Impacts Group, said, in reference to the 2018 IPCC Report’s grave warning that we have only 11 years left to reduce emissions and limit global warming to 1.5c, said; “This is a line in the sand.. The next few years are probably the most important in our species history.” 

Experts are telling the truth about the climate emergency, but governments are not acting as if this truth is real. The Scottish government’s environment committee has admitted the government’s goal of cutting emissions by 90% before 2050 fails to address the scale of the challenge stating “a greater urgency of action across all parts of government” is required. However, Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly against a bill to declare a climate emergency and the SNP Scottish Government have pledged to “continue to do all it can to support the North Sea oil and gas industry through its current challenges”.

Climate Emergency Roadblock 
Tomorrow, Tuesday 16th April, directly facing up to the inaction of the UK & Scottish Governments, Extinction Rebellion Scotland will block North Bridge in Edinburgh from 3pm, disrupting ‘business as usual’ to raise the alarm on the climate and ecological catastrophe currently unfolding across the globe. It is expected that this will cause disruption in the centre of the city. Activists planning to physically engage in non-violent direct action are strongly encouraged to attend the morning’s briefing. More information can be found out about this on social media. 

Dr Anna Fisk, 35, university lecturer, commented “I’ve got involved in civilly-disobedient direct action as a last resort, because the ecological situation is desperate and we need those in power to take immediate drastic action. We’re blocking roads to cause major disruption to our capital city, potentially getting arrested and having to pay fines and risk our livelihoods, because we have no other choice. I’m in my mid-thirties and thinking about starting a family, but am terrified about the devastation wrought by climate breakdown that a child born today will grow up to face.”

The road block will be preceded by a ‘critical mass’ bike ride, where a block of cyclists will cover the road wearing signs, flags, and bright colours, slowing the traffic before it is stopped altogether.

Sam Hawkins, 37, researcher working in renewable energy, “I’m kind of person who would ordinarily let people get on and do their thing. But here I have no choice but to take action to disrupt business as usual. It doesn’t matter what your political views are, the scientific reality is that we’re in the midst of the 6th mass extinction, and we’re on track for changes in climate which will be apocalyptic. This is an emergency – the biggest we’ve ever faced – and we need the Government to fully acknowledge this and act now.” 

The facts are in. One in five British mammals are at risk of being lost from the countryside. Flying insect biomass has depleted by 76%. Rising temperatures will melt at least one-third of the Himalayas’ glaciers by the end of the century even if we limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C. Melting glaciers in both the Andes and the Himalayas threatens the water supplies of hundreds of millions people living downstream.

Lauren McGlynn, 38, professional photographer & mother said, “I have two kids and I am terrified for their future. I have been donating money to charity, signing petitions and showing up to climate protests for decades and emissions have only continued to soar. To not take action would be the same as signing their death warrants and I refuse to do that.” 

In response to the science, Extinction Rebellion have the following three demands for the government; 1. tell the truth about the climate and ecological crisis and reverse any inconsistent policies; 2. commit to reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2025; 3. create a Citizens Assembly to decide what needs to be done. We will not stop disrupting until these demands are met. 

On Wednesday, activists will be travelling to London from Scotland to join the UK Rebellion; taking to the streets of London to block traffic day after day at five high profile central locations – Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square and Piccadilly Circus – causing large scale disruption to force the Government to take urgent action on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.

Why disruption?

Civil disobedience works when it’s peaceful, respectful, disruptive and undertaken en masse. We don’t want to disrupt people, but our Government’s failure over the last 30 years leaves us no choice to bring this to people’s attention.  If we had functioning democracies we wouldn’t need to disrupt everyday lives. We’ve tried petitions, marches, letters, reports, papers, meetings, even direct actions; and global emissions have continued to rise. Governments prioritise the short term interests of the economic elites, so to get their attention, we have to disrupt the economy. They have left us with no other option.

About Extinction Rebellion Scotland
Extinction Rebellion Scotland was formed in November 2018, inspired by Extinction Rebellion’s actions in London, including blocking the five bridges. Since, then we have held two marches, occupied the Scottish Parliament to hold a citizens’ assembly; blocked roads in Glasgow symbolising the rising tide of the Clyde; facilitated 14 arrests during an occupation of the National Museum of Scotland, disrupting the Scottish Oil Club’s annual dinner with our occupation and a ‘dance demonstration’ outside; covered Glasgow’s George Square with blue paint footprints to urge Glasgow City council to take meaningful action – and many more smaller banner drops and actions across Scotland. 

[1] Currently there are 331 groups across the world in 49 different countries with a high concentration of groups (5+) in the UK = S+E+W (121=8+101+12), USA (38), Germany (32), France (19), New Zealand (11), The Netherlands (10), Canada (8), Spain (8), Australia (7), Ireland (6), Sweden (6), Ghana (6), Norway (6) and Finland (5). Press release:

[2] ‘Festival of Climate Reality’ layout is as follows; 
Room 1: “Heading for Extinction, and What to Do About It”: Laying out the true extent of the climate crisis and ecological collapse – and why now is the time to rebel. We will be repeatedly presenting this talk throughout the day, and will be inviting representatives from political parties, businesses and broadcasters to come along and hear the truth about climate change. 

Room 2: Solutions: Solution-focused speeches, workshops, sign-up spaces and trainings will run throughout the day, including an “Introduction to Non-Violent Direct Action” workshop to prepare for day #2’s roadblock in central Edinburgh. Citizens Assemblies will be a big focus. 

Room 3a: Art Zone: A space for empowering individuals of all ages to engage in collective creative resistance. The aim is to enable people to process the reality of our situation and translate the trauma of this into truthful expression.

Room 3b: Regeneration Zone: Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of XR as an activist movement is its focus on a regenerative culture that works as a support mechanism for its rebels and wider society. Our regenerative culture focus group will provide a safe space to heal and process the emotional and psychological aspects of our reality.