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The group’s colourful “opening ceremony” marched from Glasgow Green to George Square.

This afternoon, climate activist group Extinction Rebellion (XR) held their “Pilgrims Procession” march in Glasgow. Starting at Glasgow Green, the group marched across the city to finish in George Square, where a number of speakers discussed their reasons for coming to the city.

In the wake of the international climate conference, COP26, the “notorious” climate activist group introduced themselves to the city, ahead of a busy fortnight of timetabled climate awareness events. Activists from around the world joined the march, with many having walked to Glasgow.

The march was split into several different groups all performing in different ways. The middle of the parade was made up of a group dressed in black and performing as part of a larger black costume, named their “serpent of capitalism”. Drums and whistles accompanied the singing whilst police and liaison officers flanked the edges. Glasgow drivers also performed their own protest of sorts after the march temporarily obstructed St Vincent Street.

When the march came to a halt in George Square, short speeches were made by organisers. One of the marchers reported that she had walked from Newhaven to Glasgow on foot, and noted that they were aware many others had done similar. Another commented: “You know why we’re here; some of you have walked hundreds of miles. We’re here to call out the failure of world governments to act.”

"One of the marchers reported that she had walked from Newhaven to Glasgow on foot..."

One of march’s frontmen continued: “We are in an absolutely emergency with the climate. Stop the patriarchal system, stop detention everywhere.”

He went on: “I have been in several countries in Europe. I went to occupy Madrid, and occupy Frankfurt. We must stop this awful situation which occurs through the surveillance of the patriarchy.”

Three indigenous leaders from Colombia were also in attendance, having come to Glasgow to express their concern about the ways the climate crisis is affecting developing countries which already face hotter weather conditions. One of the women stated: “We are the ones affected the most by climate change, and we want to be present in these conversations.”

The “Coat of Hopes” was present: a “travelling, community created, work of performance craft”, the embroidered blanket was created along the 500-mile walk from additions by a range of people heading to COP26. The coat started in Newhaven, the coat is worn by a series of people on the walk, collecting patches along the way. Its purpose is to “[carry] stitched griefs, remembrances, prayers and hopes connected to [local] landscapes and stories of migration, to the gathering of world decision-makers at COP26 in Glasgow”.

For more information on upcoming Extinction Rebellion events, click here.


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