Extinction Rebellion Scotland begin camp at Parliament – plus non-violent direct action – to increase pressure on Scottish Climate Bill

  • Extinction Rebellion Scotland is demanding action on the new Climate Bill being discussed by the Scottish Government next week. Protesters from across the UK will unite to camp for five days outside the Scottish Parliament.  
  • The Holyrood Rebel Camp will be a five-day protest running 16–20 June. Some campers will participate in non-violent direct action in Edinburgh that may be a disruption to the public.
  • The camp’s programme of events include educational and creative workshops, yoga, mindfulness and self-care sessions, as well as talks on non-violent rebellion and people’s assemblies to find solutions to the ecological and climate crisis.

The protests put pressure on the government to do more to combat the climate crisis and ecological breakdown. The urgent call is for a bill that includes a net zero emissions target by 2025, instead of the current recommendation of 2045, and for the creation of a Climate Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes necessary to mitigate against the climate crisis and enable the transition to a just, carbon-free society.

On Sunday, 16 June, cyclists will complete a ‘Pedal to Parliament’ from Glasgow to Edinburgh to join the camp, while the Wee Rebellion, a branch of Extinction Rebellion made up of families with children, will demonstrate at Parliament with props and banners. On Monday, 17 June, protesters will march from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood as a ‘Parade of Life’ dressed as animals and in bright colours.

Talks at Holyrood Rebel Camp include:Heading for Extinction and What To Do About ItXR Scotland’s New Constitution: Presentation & DiscussionPeople’s Assembly on the Ecological Emergency (open with invitations to MSPs)Playful Ways to RebelTaking Climate Rebellion to the Unions

Open invitations will be extended to politicians, unions, NGOs and other groups to engage in democratic discussions with the public.

Why here? Why now?

Scotland is recognised by many as being a world leader on climate change. The Climate Bill passed by the Scottish Parliament will put pressure on other governments to do the same.

The Climate Bill will lay out Scotland’s carbon emission objectives for 2030 and 2050. Its current recommendations are to reach a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2045.

As the effects of climate change are already visible, protesters are demanding we reach net zero by 2025. If this becomes legally binding legislation, it will be a step of historic proportions and will set a global precedent.

We are already suffering more frequent and severe extreme weather events including droughts, dry spells, flooding and hurricanes, as well as rising sea levels. Such planet-threatening developments cannot be ignored. If we continue on the current course, the impacts will rapidly become catastrophic, leading to the collapse of society and the natural world.

Ecological collapse is already happening, with more than 26,000 species threatened with extinction; that is 41% of all amphibians, 34% of all conifers, 33% of reef-building corals, 31% of sharks and rays, 25% of all mammals, and 13% of all birds.

The combined effects of ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution cause about seven million premature deaths every year.


Holyrood Rebel Camp

Programme of Activities

Holyrood Rebel Camp (16–20 June) will be Extinction Rebellion Scotland’s biggest gathering ever. Rebels from across the UK and beyond will occupy the space outside the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood for five days of non-violent direct action, assemblies, talks, workshops, and discussions focussed on the Scottish Parliament’s Climate Bill and the radical steps needed to address the global ecological emergency. There will be parades, bike rides, well-being activities, ceilidh, music and dance. Another world is possible: let’s join together and create it.

Sunday 16 June: Convergence

Sunday will see rebels of all ages converge on Holyrood to set up the Rebel Camp.

In the afternoon (14:00–17:00) the Wee Rebellion (all ages welcome) will meet outside Parliament with costumes, props, banners and more that tell of their thoughts, ideas and hopes for the Climate Bill.

Meanwhile, cyclists will ‘Pedal on Parliament’ from Glasgow, arriving at the Meadows in Edinburgh at around 16:30, and riding around Edinburgh in ‘critical mass’ formation to reach Parliament at around 17:30.

At 18:30 we’ll have the first of our daily Camp Assemblies. This is how the Rebel Camp will be run – practising real democracy outside Parliament – so anyone who wants to have a say in managing the camp should come along.

At 19:00 we have the first of several Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) trainings and affinity group formation to prepare rebels to take part in actions during the camp and beyond.

At 20:00 there will be a guided walk around Holyrood Park as part of Work that Reconnects.

16 June: Wee Rebellion at Holyrood: The Future We Dream Of

The Glasgow-based Wee Rebellion is a branch of Extinction Rebellion Scotland made up of families and young people. They organised the celebrated ‘Dippy Die-in’ at Kelvingrove Museum: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-48078039

Wee Rebellion invites families in Edinburgh to come and gather outside the Scottish Parliament the day before the Climate Bill debates begin. Bring costumes, props and banners that tell of your thoughts, ideas and hopes for the bill. All ages welcome.

16 June: Pedal to Parliament

On 16 June three scheduled bike rides are due to run in the ‘Pedal to Parliament’ event by XR Scotland. The event will be for all ages and abilities and will be a legal, non-violent protest. One will be Glasgow-based, one Edinburgh-based, and another will run 50 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh, ending in front of Parliament to join the protests.

Monday 17 June: The Big Launch

For those who rise with the dawn, every day of the camp (Monday–Thursday) there will be a Blessing Ritual at 6:30 atop Salisbury Crags.

Monday is the official Launch of Holyrood Rebel Camp with the Parade of Life.

Meet at Johnston Terrace (just below the Castle) at 10:00 for a 10:30 start. Bring noise, bring banners, bring your family, and come dressed as your favourite species or in bright colours. We will parade down the Royal Mile to Holyrood, where we will join together in a short ceremony to mark the opening of the Holyrood Rebel Camp, finishing around midday.

Following this there will be an actions briefing, and throughout the afternoon we’ll be taking disruptive action in Edinburgh to highlight the need for radical action on the ecological emergency.

But for those who aren’t able or don’t want to take direct action, Monday afternoon also sees the start of our series of talks, workshops and conversations on how to fight the impending climate catastrophe. As well as our regular XR talk on Heading for Extinction (and what to do about it), there will be workshops on spiritual activism and just transition.

In the evening there will be the first of our nightly ceilidhs. Each night will feature a different mix of traditional Scottish music and dancing with a diversity of other styles, as well as spoken word, with an open acoustic session to round off the evening.

Tuesday 18 June: The Climate Bill

Tuesday afternoon sees the Climate Bill debate in Parliament. We want MSPs to take much more radical action on climate, including an amendment to set up a Climate Citizens’ Assembly. In the morning, we will form a human chain around Parliament (briefing 9:00–9:30, action 9:30–11:00) and invite MSPs to take part in an open People’s Assembly on the ecological emergency (11:00–13:00).

Tuesday’s diverse conversations range from playful ways to rebel to XR Scotland’s new constitution, from climate change and food to divestment, and from unions to education. At the open Climate Café you can brew up discussions on the topic of your choice.

Wednesday 19 June: Regen Day

Wednesday starts with a People’s Assembly (10:00–12:00) on the direction of XR Scotland as part of the global justice movement. This is our chance to talk about our movement, where we’re going and how to get there.

The rest of the day will be focused on regenerative culture: creating a culture which is healthy, resilient and adaptable. This will include mindfulness, singing, knitting, workshops, ecstatic dance and, of course, meaningful talks and discussions around empowering our minds.

Thursday 20 June: Dispersal

On Thursday the camp will end with a bang. After free time in the morning to exchange hugs and phone numbers, we will have a giant Dance of the Dead and mass die-in outside Parliament at 12:00. Come with a partner: one person dressed in black and one in bright colours to symbolise the alternative futures that we’re faced with. This will be followed by the official launch of XR Scotland’s campaign for a Climate Citizens’ Assembly, as part of which we’ll hold a symbolic Citizens’ Assembly. The Closing Ceremony for the camp will be at 16:00, after which we’ll break camp and tidy up the site, then head off on our respective paths to continue the rebellion elsewhere!


Sunday 16 June

11:00 Arrival; set up camp

14:00–17:00 Wee Rebellion

16:30 Pedal To Parliament from Glasgow arrives in Edinburgh (Meadows)

16:30–17:30 Critical Mass in Edinburgh, ends at Parliament

18:30 Camp assembly (for internal affairs)

19:00 NVDA training and affinity group formation

19:00 Effective Outreach and CCA intro

20:00 Work That Reconnects: Walk Around Holyrood

Monday 17 June

6:30 Blessing Ritual on the Crags

8:00–9:00 Yoga

10:00 Assemble at Castle for Parade of Life

10:30 Parade of Life starts

11:15 Parade arrives at Holyrood, followed by Opening ceremony

12:00 Guided meditation

12:30 Actions briefing

14:00–19:00 Disruptive actions in Edinburgh

15:00–17:00 Spiritual Activism: Is the Climate Crisis a spiritual crisis?

17:00 Heading for Extinction talk

18:00 Camp assembly (for internal affairs)

19:00 Climate jobs, just transition and building a movement with social justice at its heart

20:00–22:00 Music and ceilidh

Tuesday 18 June

All day – Climate Justice Curriculum: What should education look like?

All day – Climate Cafe

6:30 Blessing Ritual on the Crags

9:00 Human chain around Parliament

11:00–13:00 People’s Assembly on the ecological emergency. Open to all with invitations to MSPs and civil society groups

13:00 XR Intro talk

13:00 The Revolution will not be serious: playful ways to rebel

14:00 XR Scotland’s new constitution: Presentation & Discussion

14:00–15:30 Conversations about Climate Change & Food

16:00 Conversations on biofuels, fossil fuels and divesting the Scottish parliament

18:00 Camp assembly (for internal affairs)

18:00 Heading for Extinction talk

19:00–20:30 Taking climate rebellion to the unions

20:30–22:00 Music and ceilidh

Wednesday 19th June

6:30 Blessing Ritual on the Crags

10:00–12:00 People’s Assembly on the direction of XR Scotland as part of the global justice movement

12:00 XR Intro talk

12:00–15:00 Knitstinction Rebellion (drop-in knitting workshop)

12:00–13:30 Radical Self-Care

13:00 Mindfulness

14:00–15:30 Work That Reconnects

15:00 Scotland and Kenya: Can we connect those combating the climate crisis?

16:00 The Rebellious Singers

17:00 Heading for Extinction talk

18:00 Camp assembly (for internal affairs)

19:00–20:30 Ecstatic dance

20:00–21:00 Ceilidh (Moonlands)

Thursday 20 June

8:00–9:00 Yoga

10:00–12:00 Free time; hugs and exchanging phone numbers; dance practice

11:00 Guided meditation

12:00 Dance of the Dead and Die-In

13:00 Climate Citizens’ Assembly launch

14:00 Closing ceremony

16:00–20:00 Break camp and tidy-up

20:00 END