Hundreds of activists took over the high street in Forres to drive home their message that Government must ‘listen to the science’ and act to save the planet from ‘extinction’.
September 20 was a day of protest across the world, and in Forres, local people dressed up in colourful outfits, sang songs and marched down the high street to get their message across.
Extinction Rebellion Forres member Simon Clark, who was among the organisers, said: “The World has to change very radically.
“Today we’ve had 200-300 people marching down the street. Governments need to tell the truth about what science is saying.
“These are not our opinions. It’s clear that the United Nations Scientists that have been looking at the climate for the last 30 years have been painting a picture that if, in the next ten years, there isn’t radical change in our society, there will be huge numbers of deaths, starvation, desertification of the land, flooding, wildfires, the drama of weather patterns that we’re starting to see, will get more, and more rapid.
Children are at the front
“And the children are leading this. Today they’ve dressed up as all sorts of creatures that could be extinct.
“Half the species of the planet have become extinct since 1970.
“We just want to bring everyone together to understand what could happen to our planet and to unite everybody and our Government to say ‘look, you’ve got to do something.'”
Richard Lochhead, MSP for Moray, said: “It’s really important that politicians like me, and others across the world, from all parties and all backgrounds, listen to the big loud message that you’re broadcasting today.
“Scotland was one of the first countries to declare that we are now in a climate emergency.
“We’ve got a responsibility, as we all do as citizens, to make sure we listen carefully, but don’t just listen, but act as well. We are trying to do that in Scotland. We’ve got a great international reputation for leading much of the world in terms of ambitious targets.
“Our policy is to make Scotland Carbon Neutral by 2040, and a net carbon reduction by 2045.”
MP Douglas Ross, spoke to campaigners outside his office as they passed:
He commented: “It was good to see people out in Forres making their voices heard over concerns about climate change, which is one of the greatest threats facing us in modern times.
“I’ve previously met and spoken with some of these young people about their concerns and have raised these issues in Westminster.
“I’m pleased that the Conservative Government has already responded to the call for action by, for example, introducing a ban on single-use plastics such as microbeads and plastic straws, more needs to be done, but it’s a start.
“Of course, we can all do our bit to try and make a difference, whether that be cutting down on our use of plastics or trying to use our cars less. I appreciate that it is more difficult to try and use public transport in a rural area like Moray where there are not as many services. This why, since I was elected in 2017, I have tried to engage with transport operators to improve local services.
“Although this is a cross-party issue that very much concerns us all, I find it slightly ironic that protestors were marching on the day it emerged that the SNP have ditched one of their main policies to combat climate change – by pushing back plans to ban landfill waste in Scotland which was supposed to come into force in 2021.
“It is wholly unacceptable that more than one million tonnes of biodegradable waste are still making its way into landfill in Scotland. The Scottish Government needs to do more for local councils by funding these plans rather than just publishing pledges it can’t meet and then cancelling them.”