Credit: Rothery Sullivan

Scientist Rebellion deface Scottish Power building

By Rothery Sullivan

Scientist Rebellion stage protest greenwashing done by large companies.

On Thursday 11 November Scientist Rebellion (SR) hosted two protests against the climate crisis. One took place on the South Portland St. suspension bridge and the other at Scottish Power on St. Vincent Street.

The first action took place at 1.30pm when co-founder of SR, Tim Hewllet, floated down the River Clyde in a dinghy. A sign that read, “Tell the truth or we will lose everything” was attached to his paddles. Another co-founder of SR, Mike Lynch-White, informed The Glasgow Guardian that Hewllet intended to float to the conferences happening at the SEC for COP26, although he doubted he would make it that far. Shortly after, Hewlett was cut off by the coast guard. 

Around 2.30pm, six members of SR staged their second form of action at Scottish Power by throwing green paint on the outer walls, defacing the building. Police arrived on the scene immediately. The SR members were dressed in white lab coats, and had glued their hands to the ground and to the walls. One supporter commented: “The scientists have glued their hands to the ground because they’re not planning on going anywhere.”

Posters were stuck onto the Scottish Power building containing information on the impact of fossil fuels in the climate crisis. Supporters held the same sign that Hewlett was seen holding earlier, and joined in the chanting that proceeded from the SR members.

One SR member said that they chose to deface Scottish Power because: “The science shows that we are not doing enough, and we’re not doing it quickly enough. Somewhere it is already too late.” When asked about the significance of the green paint, they continued, “Scottish power has been known to be greenwashing for many, many years, as you can see right now with the columns [outside the Scottish Power building]. [The red and blue colors are] supposed to be a graph that illustrates the way the global temperatures are rising and to suggest subliminally that they’re doing something about it. So, we’ve applied some green paint here to illustrate the greenwash that’s been done.”

A member of SR who had traveled to Glasgow from Spain to take part in the protests spoke to The Glasgow Guardian about why this action was important. They stated: “It’s time for [Scottish Power] to take responsibility and hear the science. That’s why scientists have stayed to speak up for the scientists that haven’t been listened to for so many years.” About the protest, they noted: “What is going to happen next will be more problematic than defacing and arrests.”

The first arrest was made around 3.00pm. 


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