Extinction Rebellion Scotland Oil Club 14 cases dropped by the Sheriff Court

Protestors arrested for disrupting the Scottish Oil Club dinner on 8 March 2019 at the National Museum of Scotland are no longer being charged. The non-violent activists were arrested under Section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010. Their cases have been marked as ‘no further proceedings’ by the Procurator Fiscal.

On the 8th March 2019, Extinction Rebellion Scotland protestors peacefully occupied the main atrium of the National Museum of Scotland, with the aim of delaying or cancelling the Scottish Oil Club Dinner – an annual networking event for the global fossil fuel industry in Scotland. 890 oil and gas executives were in attendance.

The activists held a People’s Assembly focusing on the damage done to the world by the fossil fuel industry and paths to transition away from it immediately. Some activists left when threatened with arrest by the police. 13 stayed until they were arrested, including some that were chained together with bicycle D locks. It took three hours for the police to remove all the protesters. The dinner eventually proceeded majorly delayed.

Later that night, another Extinction Rebellion Scotland activist who had been working at the event as a waiter dropped and held a banner from the balcony during the dinner speeches reading “Thank You For Our Suicide”. He was also arrested.

The following are quotes from the arrestees:

Naomi Scott, 24, artist said: “The companies that sent people to sit at expensive dinner tables that night are responsible for the crisis that we are facing. They bear a direct threat to this planet and the idea of celebrating and rewarding them is, in the very least, disrespectful to all of us, to all the life on this Earth. I am terrified of the future which they are selfishly moulding. I was arrested that night because we were defending our right to life and to a future by using our right to peacefully protest. We are resisting extinction here! It’s amazing news that the Procurator Fiscal has decided to not take this any further. It happened in a landscape where climate change is more and more on the agenda, and it’s incredible to see public opinion and awareness changing. What this means for all of us is that the resistance continues.”

Justin Kenrick, 59, anthropologist commented:
“At the National Museum, we were arrested for delaying the Oil Club dinner. The delay gave many members of the public the chance to ask oil industry executives how they could perpetuate an industry that is destroying their children’s future. The Procurator Fiscal has said that our cases are to be marked as no further proceedings. Clearly we have no case to answer, but the oil industry certainly does. We aim to make sure that the industry is transformed from offshore oil and gas extraction to offshore wind so that we can reach zero carbon by 2025”

Ali Orr, 27, copy editor and bartender, said: “The National Museum of Scotland belongs to everyone, and it’s our right to say that it shouldn’t be a playground for companies with a shocking list of human rights abuses and ecocide to celebrate.”

Rohan Stevenson, 22, student, said: “It has, so far, been much too easy for the members of the Scottish Oil Club to turn a blind eye to the ecological destruction inflicted by their industry, with the impacts of fossil fuel extraction disproportionately impacting on the most vulnerable members of society. In peacefully disrupting their dinner party, we forced them to engage with the public on the street and answer for their crimes against our ecosystem, and all of us that inhabit it – including themselves. I was arrested in the National Museum for supposedly causing fear and alarm, a charge that has since been dropped. Ironically, I remain afraid of and alarmed at the crisis the Scottish Oil Club is leading us towards. They, on the other hand, continue to celebrate…”

On 16 April 2019, 29 Extinction Rebellion Scotland activists were arrested at the North Bridge road block as part of the International Rebellion. 26 are being charged with Breach of the Peace, and 3 with Section 38. They are cited to appear in Edinburgh Sheriff Court in three groups on 14th, 15th, and 16th May.