COP26 protests: ‘It’ll be worse when Glasgow is underwater’, says Green co-leader

Green co-leader Lorna Slater backed the planned protests. Pic: Getty Images.Green co-leader Lorna Slater backed the planned protests. Pic: Getty Images.
Green co-leader Lorna Slater backed the planned protests. Pic: Getty Images. | Getty Images
Glaswegians should consider what it would be like to live with half of the city underwater when reacting to any disruptive protests by environmental activists at the COP26 summit, a government minister has said.

Police Scotland have warned of severe disruption on the roads of Glasgow due to potential disruption due to groups such as Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain.

However, after Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie backed the right to protest, opposition politicians labelled him “deeply irresponsible”.

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Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Show, the party’s other co-leader and the minister for bio-diversity, MSP Lorna Slater also backed disruptive protest.

Asked if she supported groups such as Extinction Rebellion, Ms Slater said that protest is designed to be disruptive.

She said: “Protest is meant to be disruptive and we do have a legal right to protest in this country that absolutely should be protected and I sympathise with activists who feel not enough is happening.

“If you feel a couple weeks of disruption of protests is upsetting, wait until you see Glasgow half underwater when we reach three and a half degrees of global warming, that will be very disruptive.”

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Ms Slater, who was elected an MSP at May’s Holyrood election for the first time, said she did not back these groups stopping emergency services from getting through protest roadblocks.

This followed reports in London that Insulate Britain protesters blocked emergency vehicles while blockading the M25.

She said: “I would draw the line at things that might endanger human life.

”For example there was a rumour, that has since been disproved, that some protesters were stopping emergency vehicles, that turned out not to be true but of course, protest must allow emergency services through.

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“I think protesters have been blockading roads, Extinction Rebellion have done it several times but they always make sure the emergency services can get through.”

The Scottish Green co-leader added that her party opposes the Cambo oilfield but defended the call from the Scottish Government to the UK Government to “reassess” the oilfield, describing the First Minister’s letter as “strong”.

She said: “It’s something that isn’t a devolved matter, we have limited space and energy in the Scottish Parliament and it’s important that we spend our time focused on those things that we do have powers over.”

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