Youth activists to defy authorities by sailing up the Clyde to COP26

Police Scotland and the Ministry of Defence Police are patrolling the River Clyde 24/7.

Youth activists to defy authorities by sailing up the Clyde to COP26 Kristian Buus via Greenpeace
On Sunday afternoon, the Rainbow Warrior was off the Scottish coast near Girvan.

A ship carrying young climate activists intends to defy Glasgow port authorities and sail up the River Clyde to the UN global climate conference.

Four members of the Fridays For Future group from the most affected areas of the world are on board the Rainbow Warrior – Greenpeace’s sailboat.

The vessel set off from Liverpool on Saturday night and contacted the Clyde port authority to request permission to berth outside the COP26 being hosted at the Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow.

Greenpeace said it was warned the ship cannot sail up the Clyde as the river is currently locked down by Police Scotland.

Fridays For Future climate activists from the global south, from left to right: Maria Reyes from Mexico, Edwin Moses Namakanga from Uganda, Jakapita Faith Kandanga from Namibia and Farzana Faruck Jhumu from Bangladesh.Marie Jacquemin via Greenpeace
Fridays For Future climate activists from the global south, from left to right: Maria Reyes from Mexico, Edwin Moses Namakanga from Uganda, Jakapita Faith Kandanga from Namibia and Farzana Faruck Jhumu from Bangladesh.
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The captain has decided to ignore the warnings and plans to continue the ship’s journey with it expected to arrive in the city at around 8am on Monday.

Maria Reyes, a 19-year-old Mexican activist onboard, said: “From vaccines to visas and travel restrictions, we’ve already had to overcome many obstacles that the COP26 organisers tried to use in an attempt to shut us out. But we’re here, we’re coming and we won’t be stopped.” 

Temporary mooring and movement restrictions are in place on the river from the Erskine Bridge to the Tidal Weir by Glasgow Green.

The rules apply to all vessels, including kayaks, canoes, remotely operated devices, paddle boards and boats of any size including jet skis. Swimming and diving is also prohibited during the climate summit.

The Erskine Bridge where restrictions on the Clyde are currently in place.GeorgHanf via iStock
The Erskine Bridge where restrictions on the Clyde are currently in place.
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Police Scotland and the Ministry of Defence Police are patrolling the River Clyde 24/7.

The four youth climate activists on board the Rainbow Warrior are demanding world leaders must “stop failing” the world’s worst impacted communities.

Farzana Faruk Jhumu, 22, a Bangladeshi campaigner on board, said: “If they think they can hold a climate summit that will decide our future without us present, they’ve got another thing coming. People from the most affected areas have been ignored for long enough.

“We’re here to be heard, not cause trouble, and my friends and I are sailing to the climate summit whether they like it or not. Our message, our voice, our presence is too important for us to turn back now.”

Many activists and delegates from areas heavily hit by the climate crisis are unable to attend COP26 due to Covid travel restrictions, vaccine inequalities, and a lack of affordable accommodation.

Police Scotland said those it was an individual’s responsibility to check the Peel Ports Notice to Mariners prior to departure so they are aware of what bodies of water are accessible and where is restricted.