COP26 Protesters Back an Array of Causes, Connected by Climate Change

LARGEST CITY IN THE UK: More than a thousand demonstrators gathered in Glasgow’s streets on Saturday to call on world leaders to take action that is as drastic as the climate disaster that is already wreaking devastation in some parts of the world.

The COP26 climate summit in the Scottish city of Edinburgh was overrun by a diverse group of demonstrators, many of whom were members of trade unions, church groups, and other left-wing activists. Protesters had been marching around the city since midday and had taken more than an hour to reach a certain place.

Anti-global warming protests have become an umbrella for a wide range of anti-global warming concerns, including racial justice and income equality.

In the last two years, climate change activism has entered into the mainstream, and it has begun to alter people’s minds, according to Feyzi Ismail, a Goldsmiths, University of London, lecturer in global policy and activism.

This is more essential, in my opinion, than what’s going on within the COP meeting, because it’s putting the kind of pressure needed to drive governments to act, but it’s also forcing them to take considerably more extreme views than they might have otherwise,” she added.

In many ways, the demonstrations are personal for many of the demonstrators.

A 63-year-old upholsterer and curtain maker from Auchterarder, north of Edinburgh, said that her workshop had been inundated and she feared for the future of her family members who live along the coast. “Flooding is happening, and it is going to keep happening,” Alexandra Bryden said.

Over 200 events were planned around the world, with more than half of those taking place in the UK, according to some organisers.

More than a thousand anti-global warming protesters gathered outside of City Hall in Paris, France, to hold up images of international leaders they accused of doing too little to combat climate change, reports the New York Times. President Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron were both booed by the crowd as their names were given out. The demonstrators screamed, “One, two, three degrees, that’s a crime against humanity,” before holding a minute of silence for the people who have died as a result of global warming.

On the other hand, officials in Glasgow were preparing for tens of thousands of demonstrators who were expected to arrive on Saturday.

Robert Dickie, 64, a retired accountant from Hamilton, Scotland, near Glasgow, wore a kilt and spoke after playing the bagpipes. “People are coming out in this weather to say we have had enough of this,” he said.

This is what will happen in the long term: “Things have to change before we all go extinct,” he remarked.

On Friday, a youth-led protest planned by the Fridays for Future movement, an international movement that developed out of Greta Thunberg’s solitary school strike in 2018, took place in the city of Stockholm. On Friday, she spoke to the gathering and said that COP26 had been a “disaster.”

The first week of the climate summit saw new commitments to combat deforestation and to phase out coal. At least 105 countries have signed a deal to cut methane emissions by 30% over the next ten years. In order to promote the global economy’s transformation toward greener energy, major financial institutions have committed trillions of dollars in resources.

Experts, on the other hand, argue that between preindustrial times and the end of this century, temperature rise should be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if all countries complete their present obligations, this goal will remain elusive.

Protesters in Glasgow, like many environmental groups, were dubious of pledges, believing that such promises would not be delivered and that they did not go far enough to solve an important worldwide crisis.

The coast of Scotland will be cut off from the rest of the world. Upholsterer Mrs. Bryden confirmed that the apparition was indeed real. When I see my grandchild, I’m unable to look him in the eyes. Sorry for what he’ll have to deal with in the future,” I said.

In an interview, Bel Burn, 59, a retired health care worker from Cumbria, in northern England, explained how she had purchased 20 acres of land and planned to plant 4,200 trees there.

In the rain, she said: “We are blaming China and we are blaming Brazil but we are not doing enough, and I don’t see a strategy.

She said, “They haven’t gone far enough.” They have agreed on a lot of this previously, so why should we trust that this time will be any different?

Mr. Graham hopes that the march will help strengthen the efforts for free public transportation and for a large-scale initiative to rehabilitate and insulate Glasgow’s housing stock, which was coordinated by the COP26 Coalition, which was a trade union official in Glasgow. In order to hold these leaders to account, “it’s vital that we have a civil society with a powerful voice,” he said.

Activists claim that despite the wide variety of organisations involved, they are all committed to achieving what they call climate justice.

A member of the Quilombola community in Brazil, Katia Penha, said it was vital to be in Glasgow this weekend to draw attention to the concerns of individuals in the poor world who are often ignored by global authorities. They want their struggles to be recognised alongside those of Indigenous communities who are disproportionately affected by mining.

A burst hydroelectric dam in Mariana, Brazil, in 2015 slaughtered and wiped out the Quilombola people and their communities, she claimed, citing the example of the deaths and destruction caused by the dam.

The slogan “Thank you for not eating us” was printed on balloons depicting a cow and a chicken. A butterfly and the words “Amazonia Forever” were painted on a hillside to draw attention to the devastation of the Amazon rainforest.

As of yet, there hasn’t been nearly as much violence as there was during some of the early summit protests, particularly in 1999 in Seattle.

Instead, groups like Extinction Rebellion, which believes in nonviolent disruption, have risen to prominence.

According to Ismail, it is a matter of whether or not the protest movement can combine with trade unions and get workers to use the threat of strikes to put forward a clear programme. It had already made some progress, she insisted.

It’s only via a protest movement, Ms. Ismail remarked, that things will improve. “If you don’t put pressure on yourself, you won’t change.”

From Paris, Aurelien Breeden contributed to the story.