Each day around COP26 there have been protests, actions and vigils conducted by Indigenous activists from across the world, many of these are pictured in our collective coverage Telegram Channel. Elsewhere throughout the uk, direct action, blockades and banner drops are taking place on a daily basis.
Here in Glasgow on Monday Greta Thunberg along with Fridays For Future MAPA activists spoke to a crowd of protestors in Festival Park, Govan. “Change is not going to come from inside there” she said to an energised crowd, “That is not leadership – this is leadership.”
Everywhere on the ground in Glasgow the same message was clear: the urgency of protestors is yet to be matched by the actions of governments.
On Tuesday, Climate activists joined GMB strikers on the Glasgow pickets lines at the Polmadie depot. The city council’s cleansing department are striking for better pay during the COP26 and the strikers have expressed solidarity with those protesting. They are expected to join protests including this Friday’s march from Kelvingrove park to George Square organised by Fridays For Future.
Glasgow City Council narrowly avoided a city-wide shutdown due to industrial action – how can climate justice be compatible with our government’s unwillingness to provide for people’s basic needs?
Also in the morning activists from Glasgow Calls Out Polluters (GCOP) and Fridays for Future Italia disrupted an event of Italian Oil giant Eni, taking to the stage to read out a statement from activists from Mozambique.
The group Justiça Ambiental Moçambique said “Solidarity with the people of Cabo Delgado in Mozambique at COP26, whose lives and land are being destroyed by Eni and the gas industry. Polluters must listen to the voices of Mozambicans and face the reality of their actions. Gas is NOT a transition fuel”
In the afternoon, protesters from Extinction Rebellion and other groups demonstrated outside the offices of JPMorgan in Glasgow today in an action called the Trillion Dollar Bash. Calling out the banks’ continued profits from and investment into fossil fuel projects. JP Morgan have spent hundreds of billions of pounds on fossil fuel projects since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed. A large police presence blocked several roads as the protestors marched and chanted through central Glasgow.
At our Tuesday assembly, Rachel Kennedy from Friends of the Earth International remarked that “None of the Net Zero pledges announced are in line with the 1.5 degree target. They are all smokescreens which kick climate action down the road until the mid-century. What we need is a decade of delivery now.”
Wednesday’s actions were focused around themes of finance, economic justice, and debt justice.
In the morning near the river Clyde police seized a giant 8m long inflatable Nessie from anti-poverty group, Jubilee Debt Campaign. The ‘Loch Ness Debt Monster’ represented the growing threat of climate debt burdens for lower income countries, who have been prevented from discussing how debt is sabotaging their climate response at COP26.
Eva Watkinson, Head of Campaigns at Jubilee Debt Campaign said:
“Lower income countries’ unsustainable debt is preventing them from fighting the climate crisis. And when climate disasters hit, countries are pushed into further debt to pay for reconstruction. Rich polluting countries created the climate crisis and should take responsibility by cancelling the debts of countries that need it and ensuring climate finance is given in grants, not more loans.”
The evidence is clear: the richest in society have caused the climate crisis – we cannot let the poorest in society pay for its consequences.
Later activists from Stop Cambo staged a mock ceremony featuring ‘the Queen’ turning off the oil tap. The protestors called for an end to all new oil gas projects in the North Sea, starting with the proposed Cambo oil field, and a proper transition plan of support for oil and gas workers and their communities.
Extinction Rebellion and other groups demonstrated in Glasgow during the afternoon holding a colourful and creative Greenwash march. Taking place on the Finance day of the COP26 the march visited several financial and corporate offices with banners reading “J.P Morgan – the world’s largest financier of fossil fuels”, “Greenwashing won’t wash” and “SSE Scotland’s biggest polluter”. Police initially stopped the march from proceeding down Sauchiehall Street and later brought in excessive numbers of officers leading to accusations of over policing, as protesters were surrounded, kettled and boxed in for hours until the early evening.
At yesterday’s movement assembly we had extensive analysis of the climate crisis and its inextricable relationship with capitalism. One speaker, Ivonne Yanez, from Accion Ecologia, argued that “Nature has rights – plants, animals and forests all have rights. So justice has to be for people and communities, and also has to repair nature. For this we must leave oil in the land, pay reparations to the most vulnerable communities, and let nature heal itself and stop converting it into products and finance.”
The drastic reduction in emissions talked about in COP negotiations is actually about the economic activities that humans are doing – the climate crisis is about production, consumption, trading – everything that we’re producing.