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12 arrested in Camp for Climate Action protests in Edinburgh

12 arrested in Camp for Climate Action protests in Edinburgh
By Gemma Fox.
Digital Journal
August 23, 2010

Edinburgh - Protesting against one particular bank and their investments in the oil, coal and gas industries, Camp for Climate Action arrived in Edinburgh on August 19 to begin training and protesting against the actions of RBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Protesting against large corporate companies and government, Camp for Climate Action has seen successful protests in preventing a third runway at Heathrow Airport in London and the building of a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth.
This year they are protesting against the actions of RBS - The Royal Bank of Scotland and their funding of what the protesters believe to be the causes of the climate change in the world.

Camp for Climate Action claim that RBS is one of the largest investors in the worlds gas, coal and oil industries and also in tar sands extraction in Canada.

Camp for Climate Action writes on their website that last year the bank was bailed out with £50 billion from public money and therefore "we're paying to trash our future".

The Camp settled in Edinburgh on Thursday August 19 out near the RBS headquarters at Gogarburn, Edinburgh and began setting up. From August 21-24 it was planned that protesters would receive training and would also take direct action which included protesting outside of the RBS headquarters, where at 5pm last night 100 protesters wearing white bio-hazard breached a police lines in front of the head quarters.
An oil like substance was thrown at the building and windows were smashed.
Organisers planned for today, August 23, to be the biggest day of action and police have confirmed that 12 people have been arrested around Edinburgh today in connection with Camp for Climate Action which is currently stationed at the RBS headquarters at Gogarburn.
Extra officers were deployed to the camp where most of the demonstrations were due to take place and at areas around the city where activity was taking place.
Police said that at around 0930 this morning they became aware that two arterial routes in Edinburgh had apparently had something similar to diesel or vegetable oil poured across the carriageways and had therefore become dangerous.
Lothian Buses, the city's main transport convenor, pulled their buses from the two affected roads, the A720 at Bankhead and the A8 westbound carriageway, and the City of Edinburgh Council used 7.5 tonnes of grit on the roadways to clean them.
Although the roads were not closed police had urged motorists to proceed with caution while the clean up was under way and the roads were cleared by noon.
A Lothian and Borders police spokesperson said of the incident, "This was an extremely reckless and dangerous act which could have put many members of the public at risk. It is a worrying trend, and a disturbing escalation in the activities of the protesters."
Around the city protesters took action in Nicolson Street, Hunter Square, Glasgow Road, Forth Ports and Gogarburn Bridge.
At Nicolson Street two women were arrested aged 34 and 38 and a 25-year old man were arrested for breach of the peace.
In Hunter Square a 24-year old woman was arrested for vandalism.
On Glasgow Road two men, aged 31 and 33 were arrested for breach of the peace after an incident which took place there.
Five people were arrested and changed with breach of the peace after an incident at Forth Ports. The arrested were two men aged 20 and 49, and three women aged 18, 23 and 41.
A 58-year old man was arrested and charged with an assault following an incident which took place on the Gogarburn Bridge.
Many of those arrested were released with the expectation that they would appear in court at a later date.
A spokesperson for Lothian and Borders police said, "While the Force facilitates peaceful protest, public disorder, damage to property, or any other criminal acts will not be tolerated. It is obvious that the activists changed their emphasis, and we had considerable resources in place to respond in a proportionate and responsible manner. A significant amount of planning had been put in place for the Climate Camp so that the Force was prepared for every eventuality, and additional resources were sent to the RBS site today to support the policing operation there. As is common practice in such operations, the assistance of neighbouring Forces was sought. We have in the past collaborated with Forces such as Strathclyde, Central Scotland Police and Northumbria on large scale events."
Around 500 people have been staying at the Camp for Climate Action and police say that over the course of the day they had been moving from the camp site to RBS land.
Protesters hung a banner from a bridge over the A8 and began to super glue themselves to each other. Elsewhere in the city protesters began locking themselves to buildings using D-locks.
Police say that they did not gain access to any RBS property and there have been no reports of any injuries.
Protesters largely succeeded in their efforts to "break the bank" as RBS bosses urged as many of their employees stay at home and work there rather than come in the headquarters which they suspected would be attacked.
Several other companies in Edinburgh were targeted today with protesters saying they had created an oil slick made of molasses outside the offices of Cairn Energy, based in Edinburgh they are one of Europe's largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies.
Other protests were largely peaceful.
Protesters plan that Wednesday August 25 is the day base camp is returned to nature and the protest will end.


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