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Sturgeon confident police can deal with Cop26 protests ‘sensitively’

·2-min read

Scotland’s First Minister has said she is confident police can deal with expected protests in Glasgow during Cop26 “sensitively”, but asked those taking to the streets to cause as little disruption as possible.

Thousands of protesters are expected to descend on Scotland’s biggest city over the next two weeks as world leaders meet for key climate talks.

Police have previously said they will work to facilitate peaceful protest, but have warned demonstrators not to block the Kingston Bridge which runs through the heart of the city and past the venue hosting the talks.

Extinction Rebellion protestors holding signs
Extinction Rebellion has said it will be in Glasgow during the climate summit (Niall Carson/PA)

Extinction Rebellion, one of the most high profile climate protest groups currently operating, has said it will be coming to Glasgow and are planning “deliberate disruption”.

But one activist told the BBC the group was about getting the attention of people in power and would take steps to ensure little disruption to the lives of ordinary people.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross raised the plans of Extinction Rebellion at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday.

“It’s one thing to be frustrated by the lack of action on climate change, but it’s another thing entirely to take that frustration and use it to disrupt people’s lives,” Mr Ross said.

Ms Sturgeon replied: “In a constitutional democracy, it is not for politicians to decide how they police demonstrations, it is for the police to decide how they appropriately police demonstrations.

“If what Douglas Ross is asking me is do I have confidence in the ability of Police Scotland to do that appropriately, sensitively and with the interest of the people of Glasgow and Scotland at heart then yes, I do have confidence in Police Scotland to do that.”

The First Minister also said she was confident Glasgow would be able to “grasp” the opportunity created by the climate talks.

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