COP26: Activists throw green paint over Scottish Power building

Protesters from Scientist Rebellion glued their hands to the property and splattered the building with green paint
Protesters from Scientist Rebellion glued their hands to the property and splattered the building with green paint

The protesters glued their hands to the property and splattered the building with green paint

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Climate change activists have thrown 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.

Police Scotland has been contacted to confirm whether or not arrests have been made.

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 1,000 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.”

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the UK over the weekend in the midst of the climate talks demanding stronger climate action from leaders.

On Friday, the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg led a protest in Glasgow, telling young activists that the UN talks were “now a global north greenwash festival, a two-week-long celebration of business as usual and blah blah blah,” and branded it a failure.