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Climate protesters imitate Moray's MP


By Alistair Whitfield

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Campaigners staged a protest yesterday outside the office of Moray's MP calling for more action to combat global warning.

Members of the Forres Extinction Rebellion group impersonate Moray MP Douglas Ross as they hand over a letter urging action on climate change.Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Members of the Forres Extinction Rebellion group impersonate Moray MP Douglas Ross as they hand over a letter urging action on climate change.Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

With the building on Forres High Street closed due to the pandemic, Extinction Rebellion activists handed a letter to one of their own number who was wearing a Douglas Ross mask.

Moray's MP later stated that the issue of climate change was important, but questioned why the campaigners had chosen to attend his office with the pandemic still ongoing.

Yesterday's protest was timed to coincide with the release to Parliament of a report by the Committee on Climate Change – the UK Government’s own advisory body.

An Extinction Rebellion spokesman, who lives locally, said: "As the report reveals, the UK Government's actions are falling way short of meeting even its own legally-binding target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – a target already woefully inadequate.

"Aiming for zero carbon emissions by 2050 is far too late to avert catastrophic global heating which will cause crises much, much worse than the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The UK government pledged measures for reducing emissions but, in fact, our emissions have increased."

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with what it calls "criminal inactivity" by their government.

Members of the Forres Extinction Rebellion group impersonate Moray MP Douglas Ross as they hand over a letter urging for action to be taken on climate change during their socially distanced protest on Forres' High Street...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Members of the Forres Extinction Rebellion group impersonate Moray MP Douglas Ross as they hand over a letter urging for action to be taken on climate change during their socially distanced protest on Forres' High Street...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

Local members stated that they strictly followed social distancing and adhered to Scotland’s lockdown rules during the protest.

The spokesperson continued: "We have a chance, now, to change direction towards a green economy, and urge our government to wake up and do it.

"We call on Douglas Ross, as our MP, to show mature and moral leadership and make the science of climate breakdown, and the consequences of the UK Government’s current inaction, clear to his constituents.

"We ask that he urge the government to listen to the latest scientific findings and take the brave actions required if we are to prevent catastrophic temperature rises, the consequences of which will hit the poorest and most vulnerable members of our societies hardest."

Extinction Rebellion also staged protests yesterday in Inverness and outside the offices of MPs across Scotland.

Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

In response Douglas Ross stated he had urged the campaigners not to attend in person due to the current restrictions in place to deal with coronavirus.

He said: "I’ve met this local group on a number of occasions, most recently during another event outside my office late last year.

"While they have an important message to deliver, and I’m keen to work with them on this, I had urged them not to physically attend my office but to email me their letter.

"I received an electronic version but they were determined to attend.

"I think this is regrettable while we are still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Scottish and UK governments have both been clear that this virus is still out there, and I just feel turning up on the High Street to get their photo taken was not the responsible thing to do when they had already sent me their concerns.

"As well as considering the safety of the campaigners I was mindful that my office is on a high street where people pass all the time.

"In the current climate a virtual presentation would have been better for everyone.

Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

"A member of my team also had to remove items the campaigners stuck to the office window and, naturally, that led to some risks for my member of staff given how this virus spreads.

"While I will continue to engage on this important matter, I’m sorry the campaigners chose to ignore my request and continued to take these risks rather than simply emailing, writing or calling me which every other constituent has done during this crisis."

More news from Moray here


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