FM urges COP26 protesters ‘not to add’ to disruption in Glasgow

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged people taking part in protests to do so 'peacefully'.

FM urges COP26 protesters ‘not to add’ to disruption in Glasgow Scottish Parliament TV

Nicola Sturgeon has urged protesters at COP26 not to add to the disruption already being faced by people living in Glasgow as the city gets set to host the summit.

The First Minister said it is understandable those taking part in demonstrations will want to make their voices heard, but indicated that they should recognise that the people of Glasgow have agreed to host the event.

At FMQs, Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross raised concerns about the potential for disruption caused by protest groups and the risk to public safety.

He said: “Just this morning, Extinction Rebellion said they are planning deliberate disruption with the most impact possible.

“We all respect the right of protesters to express their views, but we cannot sit back and allow deliberate and dangerous disruption of people’s lives.

“Will the First Minister reassure people across Glasgow that there will be a zero-tolerance approach to protests that disrupt people going to their work including doctors and nurses and ambulances carrying people in urgent need of medical care?”

Sturgeon asked that protesters take part in demonstrations peacefully, whilst outlining talks with police on the approach being taken during the two-week-long summit.

“Obviously it is for Police Scotland to decide the appropriate approach to the policing of demonstrations,” she responded.

“The chief constable, who I’ll be having further discussions with over the course of today and tomorrow around this, have been very clear that there will be a sensitive policing operation that will do everything possible to facilitate appropriate and peaceful protest.

“But Police Scotland will respond to any protests that seek to break the law and of course disrupt people beyond what would be considered reasonable.”

The First Minister continued: “People do want to come and make their voices heard, I think that is understandable given the importance of the issues under discussion.

“But I would say to people looking to come to protest in Glasgow – do it peacefully and do it with a recognition that the people of Glasgow are agreeing to host this conference, are suffering some disruption because of that, so don’t add to that disruption for them.

“But, let’s all get behind those who will be negotiating I hope a good outcome for the future of the planet.”

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