COP26: What protests will be held in Glasgow during climate summit?

COP26, which will be held in Glasgow, has been described as the biggest climate summit since the Paris Agreement in 2015.
Protests will be taking place in Glasgow during COP26.Protests will be taking place in Glasgow during COP26.
Protests will be taking place in Glasgow during COP26.

It is unsurprising, then, that such a huge event, which will see world leaders and 25,000 delegates discussing the climate crisis, will see an equally big response from protesters.

While Glaswegians will need to keep an eye out on what roads are closed during the summit, they will also need to know when and where the big climate protests will be taking place.

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Here is our quick guide to the climate protests in Glasgow.

Youth climate protest - November 5

Thousands of young climate protesters will be hitting the streets of Glasgow on Friday, November 5.

Fridays for Future (FFF) Scotland — the Scottish branch of an international youth movement founded by Greta Thunberg — are set to take part in a “school strike for climate justice”.

The group has informed Glasgow City Council that an estimated 8000 people will join the protest, which will start in Kelvingrove Park and finish at George Square.

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For the Friday, November 5 march, which will start at 11.30am, FFF has said all ages are welcome.

Global Day for Climate Justice - November 6

The big protest, though, will be the following day.

On Saturday, November 6, the COP26 Coalition has told Glasgow City Council it expects 50,000 participants on a march from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green, starting around noon.

They will demand “just and fair solutions to the climate crisis”.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to rally in Glasgow and in London on November 6, with more than 20 other protests planned across the world on the same day.

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FFF Scotland, which held strikes in Glasgow and Edinburgh in 2019, is a co-organiser for the Saturday march alongside groups including the Scottish Trade Unions Congress and Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Will there be smaller protests?

The University of Glasgow will be hosting its Green New Deal Festival on October 29 - just a few days before COP26. There will be speeches on the climate and social justice, as well as live music and hot food. It will be open to everyone - not just students and staff.

The Pilgrims’ Procession will be held one day later, on the 30th. Like many of the other protests, it is calling for a fair deal at COP26. XR Glasgow, the Young Christian Climate Network and pilgrimage groups are inviting Glaswegians to join them for the march. It starts at 2pm at McLennan’s Arch.

The Greenwash March follows on November 3, at the Buchanan Galleries steps, from noon. They aim to call out climate criminals.

How will the police respond to protests?

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Police Scotland says it’s policing style will be ‘friendly, fair and accommodating’ for those wanting to take part in protests.

However, it has warned that those who plan on being violent, causing damage or blocking the roads, could face a different response.

Deputy chief constable Will Kerr said: “We will provide a proportionate policing response to any protests and have been engaging with known protest groups for some time to ensure their rights to peaceful assembly and protest are met.

“Those wishing to protest have a responsibility to do so within the law and I would remind the small minority of people who may be intent on violent disorder or causing damage that we will deal with them swiftly and robustly.

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“The policing of protests is a particularly difficult balancing act when they are non-violent and peaceful but highly disruptive or unlawful.

“People at protests sometimes break the law in a number of ways that aren’t linked to violence or disorder, such as blocking roads.”

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