Extinction Rebellion plots mayhem at Cop26: Eco-warriors will exploit Scottish legal loophole to bring chaos to the climate change summit
Eco warriors are plotting to exploit gaps in Scottish law to wreak havoc at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, The Daily Mail can reveal.
Around 400 climate activists sized up potential loopholes during a meeting promoted by Extinction Rebellion (XR) earlier this week.
Conspirators noted a recent High Court Injunction banning road blockades does not apply in Scotland – and that officers will be ‘overwhelmed’ by the scale of the protests.
It was also hinted protesters with charges against their name in England may get a blank canvas across the border as forces ‘don’t always communicate to each other’.
Around 400 climate activists sized up potential loopholes during a meeting promoted by Extinction Rebellion (XR) earlier this week
It comes amid alarm about the potential for chaos as police brace for the ‘most complex policing operation ever seen in Britain’. Pictured: Police at the entrance to Cop26 summit
It comes amid growing alarm within rank-and-file officers about the potential for chaos as police brace for the ‘most complex and complicated policing operation ever seen in Britain’.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters from around the world are expected to descend on the two-week summit starting on Sunday.
XR’s Scottish spokesman Myke Hall has said ministers should be ‘very worried’ about their plans to disrupt the event.
Top brass in Scotland have warned Cop26 could prove a magnet for anarchists and believe some extremists could use children as human shields during violent standoffs, a tactic seen during the storming of the Capitol in the US in January.
At the start of the two-hour protest meeting on Tuesday night, attendees were asked ‘not to say anything specific about actions that you have been involved with, or are planning’, due to fears of infiltration within the group.
But during an extensive Q&A session, rebels probed potential weaknesses in the police and criminal justice system that hinted at plots to blockade roads and outwit officers.
Know Your Rights Training was provided by the Scottish Community and Activist Legal Project, which is providing legal support to XR during Cop26.
Representatives fielded a series of searching questions including whether an injunction against road blockades aimed at curbing Insulate Britain protests in England applied in Scotland and if protest-related charges in England would be passed onto Police Scotland.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters from around the world are expected to descend on the two-week summit starting on Sunday. Pictured: Climate activists in London in April 2019
A spokesman said the injunction did not apply in Scotland, while it was also suggested police will only make arrests ‘if they need to’ for fear of being ‘overwhelmed’.
John Scott QC, an advisor to Police Scotland on Cop26, told the Mail ‘there is a very different tone and style’ to policing in Scotland, ‘with an emphasis on encouraging peaceful protest’.
But there are fears protesters who break the law could go free as a shortage of cells could force police to let some off with warnings.
One demonstration on November 6 is expected to attract more than 150,000 protesters and smaller groups such as Insulate Britain are expected to take part in acts of disorder, which could result in a significant number of arrests.
It is estimated that as many as 45,000 protesters could be heading to Glasgow from overseas, likely filled with anti-police ACAB (All Cops Are B*******) activists.
In March, ACAB rioters threw bottles, cans and placards at officers after besieging a police station in Bristol as part of ‘Kill The Bill’ demonstrations.
One activist at the meeting this week asked if it was acceptable to shout ‘F*** the police’ in Glasgow.
Police Scotland said it plans to ‘facilitate’ protest during the summit even when it is ‘unlawful’.
Cop26 Gold Commander Bernie Higgins said officers’ approach would be ‘fair, friendly and accommodating’. But he said if a protest started to endanger others or impinge on conference, arrests would be made.
Mr Higgins added the police would take ‘pretty prompt action’ if there were ‘similar events to what we’ve seen on the M25’, a reference to Insulate Britain blockades that started last month.