COP26 protests: Thousands to take over major cities as crucial climate summit continues

6 November 2021, 01:59 | Updated: 6 November 2021, 02:09

By Emma Soteriou

Tens of thousands of activists across the UK are set to protest against climate change as part of the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice.

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It comes as the COP26 climate summit continues in Glasgow, with world leaders having gathered to discuss the climate crisis and how to tackle it.

The event - being organised by COP26 Coalition - will see "over 250 decentralised mass mobilisations across the world" in ongoing efforts to push for systemic change, the organisation has said.

Speaking to LBC, Zareen Taj - who is one of the organisers for the Cambridge event - said: "This is an act of solidarity, an act of bringing everyone together, to raise awareness about these issues."

Around 50,000 people are expected to attend in Glasgow, marching through the city centre, with demonstrators also expected to take to the streets of London.

A digital rally will also take place from 7.30pm on Saturday, with several speakers from around the world set to join the event from the main stage in Glasgow.

Read more: 'Stop climate crime': Thousands join COP26 youth protest in Glasgow

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Ahead of the event, Police Scotland's Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: "There will be an increased police presence in Glasgow tomorrow and roads, public transport and the streets will be significantly busier than would normally be expected in the city on a Saturday.

"Whether you are attending the marches or are travelling to Glasgow for another reason, please plan your journey in advance and prepare for delays and potential changes required at short notice for operational reasons.

"If you’re going to a march, please act responsibly, be respectful in your actions and follow the route and instructions given to you by event organisers or police officers.

Read more: 'We've pulled two goals back in the fight against climate change': PM hails COP26 talks

"Our Police Liaison Officers, wearing light blue police vests, are becoming a common sight across the city. Their role is to make sure that participants can exercise their democratic right to demonstrate while helping to ensure the policing response is proportionate.

"People taking part in protest are encouraged to speak with these officers, especially if they have any welfare or safety issues.

"Remember, we’re here to support your rights, help your voice be heard and to keep everybody safe."

It come after thousands of youth activists - including Greta Thunberg and Vanessa Nakate - marched through Glasgow on Friday, protesting against investment in fossil fuels and failure to tackle the climate crisis.

Thunberg addressed young activists in the city, telling them that the climate summit has been a "failure".

"This is no longer a climate conference," she said.

"This is now a global north greenwash festival, a two-week long celebration of business as usual and blah blah blah.

"The most affected people in the most affected areas still remain unheard and the voices of future generations are drowning in their greenwash and empty words and promises."

Countries around the world have faced increased pressure to deliver solutions to climate change in recent years, with the target of limiting global temperatures to within 1.5C of pre-industrial levels and reaching net zero by the middle of the century.