Dozens of young people have marched through Glasgow on a climate change protest demanding urgent action to avoid the world degenerating into an “utter apocalypse”.
Protesters around the world on Friday marked the return of the regular climate strikes made famous by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, under the banner name “Fridays for Future”.
In Glasgow, several dozen marched from Kelvingrove Park to George Square in the city centre, while separate marches were organised in Edinburgh, Stirling and Ullapool.
One activist giving a speech was Lauren MacDonald, from Govanhill, who caused a stir after confronting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last month over the controversial Cambo oil field off the west coast of Shetland.
She told the PA news agency she became heavily involved in climate activism because she does not want her loved ones to endure famines, droughts, heatwaves, fires and floods.
The 21-year-old said: “I don’t believe anyone is going to do this for us, for our future. The world seems to get messed up beyond repair every day.
“We need to rise up and fight this existential threat because if we don’t, humanity will collapse, it’s as serious as that.”
Elsewhere, Ross Greer, the West Scotland Green MSP, told crowds “this is a fight between capitalism and the planet”.
He said: “We are going to stop that oil field, we are going to fight Cambo in parliament, we are going to fight against Cambo in the courts, and we are going to fight against Cambo in the streets.”
Mr Greer said: “Our climate cannot cope with the millions of extra barrels that it would extract.
“We are going to be judged for centuries as a species on the actions we take this decade.
“We need to know what we’re fighting against, and it’s capitalism. This is a fight between people and profit.
“The same tiny number of people destroying our planet are holding millions of others in poverty so they can hoard unimaginable amounts of wealth.”
Meanwhile, Emily Hird, 21, from England, who is studying a PhD in renewable energy at Strathclyde University, said: “While we might be doing well, we’re still not doing enough, we still have so far to go.
“It’s not looking great but it doesn’t have to look utterly apocalyptic. We have to fight for the last home we have.”
Student Marianna Marquardt, 21, from the US, told PA: “I’ve seen how climate change exacerbates already horrible events.
“There’s a sense of defeatism among some people who think ‘I’m not Greta, what can I do?, I don’t have a world stage’ but small contributions can change things too.”
Emma Watson, 17, from East Kilbride, said she was completing her school art project on climate change after becoming inspired to act by the fear of “not having a place to live in the future and keeping alive as much wildlife and nature as possible”.
On Thursday, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Bruce Adamson urged council education bosses not to penalise pupils for taking the day off, although there did not appear to be very many school-age children present in George Square.
Mr Adamson said: “Choosing to strike will undoubtedly have a short-term impact on children and young people’s school-based learning.
“However, their actions as human rights defenders in bringing attention to the threat of climate change and their demands for those in power to take action is part of their broader education.”
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