Extinction Rebellion Scotland block Trongate with purple boat

#SummerUprising #TheFutureYouFearIsAlreadyHere #justice4climaterefugees #projectmushroom

Extinction Rebellion Scotland are using a 25 foot long purple boat to block Trongate at Glasgow city centre. This demonstration is part of a UK-wide non-violent direct action known as Summer Uprising: Act Now. Boats are being used to occupy spaces or block roads in London, Bristol, Leeds and Cardiff today.

The fleet of boats are different colours, and similar to the pink boat that occupied Oxford Circus during International Rebellion in April. That boat was painted pink and included the text “Tell the Truth”, a reference to Extinction Rebellion’s first demand: “Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.” It was also named Bertha Cáceres after the Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader who was assisnated in 2016.

The five boats involved in the Summer Uprising are painted with the words “Act Now”, referencing Extinction Rebellion’s second demand “Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.” The boat in Glasgow has also been painted with “The Future You Fear is Already Here” in reference to the ecological breakdown and climate catastrophe that has already begun.

Dougie Graham, 39, media coordinator for a Glasgow based charity and XR Scotland activist: “Climate breakdown has already begun, with those hit first and hardest often the poorest and therefore least able to adapt. We are currently accepting a path where millions will be displaced or die. By not acting we are collectively complicit in this.

We are also not immune to the effects of climate breakdown. We either change direction or it gets changed for us. How severe this change will be depends on our actions now. We have the technology and capability to make the change we need now! To carry on as business as usual is madness. We must act now!”

Working with Gàidheil XR, the statements on the side of the boat are painted both in English and Scots Gaelic, “Dèan Rudeigin” and “Tha àm an eagail ann my thràth”.

Felix Jean, 22, Gaelic student and Gàidheil XR activist, stated “Ma tha briseadh-sìos na gnàth-shìde a’ cumail a dol bidh barrachd dhaoine a’ sparradh a gluasad. Tha fios aig na Gàidheil air a’ bhuaidh a th’ aig seo air coimhearsnachd agus air cultar.”

Children and their families from the Wee Rebellion will also be joining the protest, with face painting, pavement chalk, and themed games with names like ‘What’s The Time, Mother Earth?’ and ‘Olly, Olly Octopus’.

The day will see live musical performances from Dimetrip, Sev Ka, Gary Glitcher, Johnny Cypher, Glasgadelic, Chatonda Ridley, Lindsey McGhir, T33TH, Sentrix, the ceilidh band The Five Points, and a samba band.

The purple boat in Glasgow has been named Amal Gous. Amal was an activist who sold tea at the peaceful protests in Khartoum, Sudan, to provide for her elderly mother and four children. On June 3rd paramilitary forces stormed the protest camp, shooting, beating, and raping protestors during a sit-in. 208 were killed and over 800 arrested. Amal’s body was found floating in the Nile river.

  • 68% of all recent major extreme weather events were made more likely or more severe by human-caused climate change. [1]
  • In 2017, there were 18.8 million people displaced due to disasters and climate-related events; 8.6 million people lost their homes due to floods, 7.5 million due to storms, and 1.3 million due to droughts. [2]
  • By 2050 climate change will displace 200 million climate refugees, doubling the total number of people worldwide forced to leave their homes. [3]
  • 100 corporations are responsible for 71% of the world’s historical carbon emissions. The vast majority of these corporations concentrate wealth in developed countries after extracting value and resources from countries in the Global South, exacerbating communities’ vulnerability to climate change. [4]

Daniel Armstrong, 26, XR Scotland activist: “As the water reserves dry up, like we have seen in India. As the coral reefs die off, causing mass destruction of sea wildlife. As the trees are cut down, as the ice caps melt, as the air gets polluted. As resource’s necessary for survival gets more and more scare, and the world experiences the biggest influx of homeless refugees the world has ever seen, due to water rises and areas are made uninhabitable. The situation will get desperate, when people are starving, displaced and desperate. We will see war, we will see people fighting for survival, it will be chaos.

This is why, we must, act now, if we are to have any change of everting environmental collapse. We must swiftly respond to the climate emergency, with the kind of urgency an emergency requires . . .

The truth is, on our current path, we have limited time to reverse the breakdown of the environment. Time is running out. Act Now.”



[1] Mapped: How climate change affects extreme weather around the world, Carbon Brief

[2] Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Global Report on Internal Displacement, 2018

[3] https://www.iom.int/

[4] Carbon Majors Report, 2017.

About Gàidheil XR
Seo àite far a ‘s urrainn dhuinn na coileanasan a th’ aig na Gàidheil ann an XR a’ chomharrachadh agus luchd-iomairt clìomaid eile.

About Wee Rebellion
The recent IPCC report on climate change paint a pretty bleak picture if we don’t take action. It’s a scary prospect to imagine the challenging future ahead for ourselves and the next generation. Most meetings about activism happen in the evenings which is not ideal for many parents. Many direct actions are not something you can easily take part in with children in tow. So what can parents, children and young people do if we want to help bring about the necessary changes? Join us in open discussion to think about these issues.

About Extinction Rebellion Scotland  
Extinction Rebellion Scotland is a non-violent direct-action movement formed in response to the climate emergency, allied with the global climate justice movement.

Our demands, issued as a Declaration of Rebellion to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government on 24th November 2018 are as follows;

  1. That the Scottish Government tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, acknowledge and reverse any policies that help drive the climate crisis, and commit to enabling a rapid and just transition to a sustainable and fair society.
  2. That the Scottish Government enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025, including by replacing a system based on accelerating consumption with one based on ensuring the wellbeing of all.
  3. The creation of a Scottish Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose and a society that cares for all.

Read more about Extinction Rebellion at https://rebellion.earth/.
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