‘Thousands’ joining Scots climate crisis group

The number of “active” supporters in the Extinction Rebellion Scotland movement is now “several thousand” strong, with new chapters of the group opening up as far afield as Orkney and Oban, its organisers have declared.
Picture: Lisa FergusonPicture: Lisa Ferguson
Picture: Lisa Ferguson

After a week in which the group staged some of its largest rolling demonstrations to date, with 13 people arrested in Edinburgh over a series of road blockades, those behind the climate crisis protests said although there was frustration at government inaction over strict new net-zero targets, the movement has been “encouraged” by its achievements to date. The Scottish wing of the global movement was officially launched on 24 November last year.

It has since staged a series of protests, predominantly in Edinburgh, including last week’s action on Lothian Road, as well as North Bridge and George IV Bridge.

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Nearly seven months on from the group’s first public action, Lauren McGlynn, one of Extinction Rebellion Scotland’s media co-ordinators, told Scotland on Sunday the group was heartened by its work to date.

“I feel like we’ve done a great job of getting the job out there,” she said. “Internationally, everyone now knows about Extinction Rebellion, they know what we want and there is a broad support for it. As far as getting governments on board, I think we’ve done a lot in the space of six months, although obviously we’re not where we need to be. But I certainly feel encouraged.”

A total of 56 people have been arrested during Extinction Rebellion demonstrations in Scotland, compared to well over 1,100 arrested in London.

Asked if there was concern that the relatively small number of arrests would stifle the group’s message north of the border, McGlynn said the strategy in Scotland was “different by necessity”. She said there were now “several thousand active supporters” across Scotland, with new groups in rural and island communities to bolster its presence in cities.