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Climate protestors stage ‘mass trespass’ demonstration at Aberdeen Harbour

Climate Camp Scotland protestors stage ‘mass trespass’ in Aberdeen Harbour (Climate Camp Scotland)
Climate Camp Scotland protestors stage ‘mass trespass’ in Aberdeen Harbour (Climate Camp Scotland)

Climate activists have staged a “mass trespass” at Aberdeen’s harbour in protest at any expansion of the North Sea oil and gas industry.

The campaigners, who are in the city as part of the Climate Camp Scotland event, said they entered part of the harbour on Sunday in opposition to the expansion of the fossil fuel industry and in defence of nearby green space.

The action, which the group labelled as “mass trespass”, saw the protesters march into part of the harbour next to St Fittick’s Park in Torry, an area of green space it said was threatened by the development of an energy transition zone.

Images released by the group from inside the complex showed protestors, with their backs turned and arms raised, holding banners, including ones which said “end fossil fuels now”, “hauns affa Torry”, “no new oil & gas” and “yir nae getting awa wi this again”.

Jessica Gaitan Johannesson, of Climate Camp Scotland, said: “As an increasing number of people experience the dire reality of climate collapse, and soaring energy prices victimise the most vulnerable, we need to remember that fossil fuel companies do not work for us.

“The proposed energy transition zone in Torry is a stark example of their priorities: to exploit communities for profit for as long as possible.

“We’re here in solidarity with the people of Aberdeen, making the vital connection between local and global climate justice.”

The group said it was inside the harbour for several hours and the protest took place in an area of Old Torry where fossil fuel firms demolished homes to expand the harbour in the 1970s.

Climate Camp Scotland protestors stage “mass trespass” in Aberdeen Harbour (Climate Camp Scotland)

Climate Camp Scotland’s latest event follows approval for the Cambo and Jackdaw developments in the North Sea, and comes as Aberdeenshire Council prepares to decide if a new gas-fired power station should be built at Peterhead.

Activists said they wanted the UK Government to cancel plans for new oil and gas fields, and for the local authority to reject the new gas-fired power station.

Activists have also called on the Scottish Government to ensure communities and workers have a greater say over the Just Transition Fund in the region, and said hydrogen and carbon capture had been prioritised over publicly owned renewable power and the reduction in energy demand.

The harbour protest followed a rally in Aberdeen city centre which featured climate activists, the Aberdeen Trade Union Council, Green MSP Maggie Chapman, and local campaigners from Friends of St Fittick’s Park.

Steve Gray, a member of Aberdeen Trade Union Council, said the city needed a “just transition for all its people”.

“The last thing that people in Torry need is an industrial wasteland on their doorstep,” he said.

“Instead, they desperately need the park that they’ve created over the last 20 years, for their physical, mental and community health.”

Last year, more than 150 people attended a protest camp outside a refinery in Fife, where they demanded it be shut down.

This year the camp is set to run from July 28 to August 1.