Police arrest eight as COP26 draws to a close on Clydeside

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie reports that officers policing COP26 arrested eight people during protests

COP26: Climate protestor is removed and arrested by police.
                            COP26: Climate protestor is removed and arrested by police.

A further eight people were arrested on the penultimate day of COP26 including protesters at the Scottish Power building.

During one protest climate change activists threw paint over the Scottish Power building in Glasgow as demonstrations continue during the crucial COP26 conference.

The protesters, from Scientist Rebellion, glued their hands to the property and splattered the building with green paint to represent the “greenwashing of Scottish Power”.

One activist taking part in the demonstration was pictured being held in the back of a police van while officers were seen removing others from the scene as the protest unfolded in St Vincent Street on Thursday.

A police spokesman added: “The charges include a breach of the maritime restrictions, breach of the peace and malicious mischief.”

In response to the demonstration, a spokesperson for Scottish Power said: “We respect people’s right to protest, which has been an important part of COP26.

“However, we cannot condone malicious damage to our property, which, with its global warming stripes, is a very visible symbol of the climate change story, the science behind it, and the need to take action now.”

On the same day, as people gathered at ceremonies around the country for Armistice Day, Extinction Rebellion activists were seen lying outside the COP26 venue under a banner reading “climate crisis”.

Several of the demonstrators held placards, including Sue Lewis who was carrying a sign saying “Remember Climate Death”.

Speaking about the protest, Ms Lewis said: “This demonstration that we are doing, we’ve chosen to do on Remembrance Day because as well as remembering all the people who have died in our conflict in the past, we also wanted to remember the people who have died from the climate crisis already, and also the many thousands who will die in the future, especially if this process at COP26 does not succeed in improving the future for humanity.

“We are at Code Red, as the United Nations have said, and the future doesn’t look good.”

Ms Lewis said she had been protesting with friends and colleagues for almost two weeks throughout the COP26 event.

The international summit has drawn thousands of protesters to the city to make their voices heard as negotiations about global climate change policies have been held by world leaders.

Ms Lewis added: “We are trying to get our voices heard and we are trying to amplify the voices of the young people, the children, the people in the global south and the indigenous groups who aren’t able to be here, we are trying to be here for them, and to get across the dire, dire situation that we are in.”

Earlier on Thursday, around 1000 people marched to the Home Office in Ibrox, Glasgow, to protest against the UK Government’s treatment of migrants.

The demonstration, led by Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment (More), No Evictions Network and the Unity Centre, started at Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, at 10am.

The protesters then marched to the Home Office on Brand Street, near the COP26 Green Zone, arriving at 1.30pm.

The groups commemorated migrants who have lost their lives and called for a change in the UK Government’s handling of the migrant crisis.

Speaking at the protest, Yvonne Blake, a representative for More, said: “The climate crisis is forcing millions of people off their ancestral lands by destroying agricultural land, driving drought, disease and extreme weather.

“The UK has a vast historical responsibility for driving this crisis yet instead of enabling people to escape its effects it is militarising borders and further criminalising migrants.

“If we want climate justice we must end detention, stop deportations, end the hostile environment, and create a world where migrants can live in dignity.”

She spoke about her personal family history, adding: “My ancestors were taken and sold in slavery.

“We came here through our blood, sweat and tears.  We built this country.  This country belongs to us and we will not hide. “The people who created the racist climate crisis are the same people who are sitting in the COP26 negotiations claiming to be solving it.

“But we have seen that COP26 is not about Black Lives Matter.  It is not about indigenous lives matter.  It is just replicating the very same structures that got us here.  Unless you speak about racial justice and migrant justice there cannot be climate justice.”

Meanwhile, West Dunbartonshire Council hosted members of the Danish Parliament this week as part of their COP26 visit to Scotland, reports Lauren Crooks

The Danish Parliamentary Climate and Energy Committee met with Council Leader Councillor Jonathan McColl as well as Bailie Denis Agnew, West Dunbartonshire Energy board member Councillor Daniel Lennie, and officers involved in delivering and operating the Energy Centre to hear about the technology and its impact on the Council’s carbon footprint.

The five parliamentarians were given a walking tour of the facility, which takes water from theClyde and uses it to create heat for homes and public buildings in the vicinity.

They also took part in a round-table discussion about the benefits of the system and its operation. The Energy Centre, which has been operational for a year, has been a popular destination for delegates and journalists visiting Glasgow for the climate summit, as an example of a pioneering step towards net zero.

The introduction of the network will make a major contribution towards the Council’s climate change targets, as well as allowing residents of more than 1000 homes due to be built on the site to enjoy lower bills with a system that requires far less upkeep than a gas boiler.

Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Chair of the Danish Parliament’s Committee on Climate, Energy and Utilities, said: “We are delighted to visit Clydebank Energy Centre and to see what they are achieving with district heating.

“District heating provides cheap and reliable heating, with a very low carbon footprint.  District heating is widespread in Denmark, thus contributing to our climate goals.”

                        Danish parliamentarians and councillors visit to the Energy Centre on Queens Quay.


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