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PICTURES: Inverness climate protesters from Extinction Rebellion lobby Highland councillors

By Ian Duncan

EXTINCTION Rebellion (XR) protesters were outside the Inverness headquarters of Highland Council today demanding answers over what the authority is doing about the climate emergency.

The Inverness group, which is part of a global movement which has grown from virtually nothing over the past year, was outside the Glenurquhart Road building from around 9am.

Kate MacLachlan, one of the organisers, said that, locally, the movement has seen a steady growth both in Inverness and throughout the Highland and Moray areas. She added: “We have groups in Nairn, Findhorn, Forres, Fort William and Gairloch and there are groups in Orkney and Shetland too.

“A strong contingent of Highland XR attended the recent autumn rebellion in London. This week we demonstrated to lobby councillors about their lack of action following their declaration of a climate emergency in May – a declaration which XR lobbied hard for. Now we want action. Deeds not words.

“XR will be active in the coming months with eco-wrapping at Lush, introductory talks about the climate emergency and XR’s response to it, our usual Friday lunchtime awareness raising activities in Falcon square and targeted actions in towns throughout Highland.”

Protester ElliotBlaauw said: “Six months ago the council passed our motion of climate emergency and so we have waited six months and found they have done pretty much nothing.

"The panel that they have set up has had its first meeting, the panel is stuffed with people who don’t care about climate change, they clearly don’t understand what is required or they are unwilling to do anything about it. So we are here to say we are here, we are watching you – you need to act.

"There is science to support this, it is not our opinion and we don’t have the solutions – the message for councillors is that you are the elected people and you have said you would do this and you are not so we are here to draw attention to that.

"Action cannot wait for the long slow legislative process and that is what the science says. We have actually about a year-and-a-half to start bringing carbon emissions down. So all of us have got to do something and the councillors have said they would do something and are not doing anything. This is just tokenistic, we have been waiting and waiting and waiting, they are not engaging with us – so this is why we are protesting."

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