Europe

‘Climate violation!’ Eco-activists target luxury SUV’s as they deflate tyres around COP26

Debate Night audience member grills panel over COP26

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A number of SUVs in the city’s upmarket West End were left with flyers that branded them a “climate violation”. Police Scotland said it was aware of the incidents and it had upped patrols in the area.

A spokesman for the force confirmed to express.co.uk that no arrests have been made.

Thousands of campaigners travelled to Glasgow in recent weeks for the UN climate summit, which ends on Friday.

Pharmacist Jamie MacConnacher discovered the two front tyres of his Land Rover had been flattened on Thursday morning.

He said: “I don’t think targeting individuals that have these vehicles is the right way to do it. They don’t know what the reason for somebody having that car is.”

He added: “I understand that there is a need for change, I’m totally for that. I would have an electric car but it’s the logistics in the west end of Glasgow.

“There’s nowhere to charge outside your flat so it just doesn’t work for me.

A flyer left on Mr MacConnacher’s vehicle said it was “driving the climate breakdown”, particularly in poor countries.

The activist group ‘Tyred of SUVs’ later claimed responsibility, saying they had deflated tyres of around 60 vehicles in the “rich neighbourhood”.

A group spokesperson said: “If 4×4 drivers were a nation, they’d be the seventh biggest polluters on the planet.”

The spokesperson added: “If the 1% won’t take responsibility for the climate destruction they wreak, we’ll make them.”

Finn, a representative of the Tyred group also commented on the activity.

She said: “The reason we feel we need to do this is that we need to point to the people who are responsible. That is rich people in the global north.”

She continued: “This is a minor inconvenience to the person that is not going to disrupt them in a huge way. What is really going to disrupt people’s lives and kill them is the climate crisis caused by rich people in the global north, basically SUV owners”

She ended by saying: “The importance of this message made it necessary and warranted this disruption.”

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Police Scotland said: “We are aware of these incidents and there will be increased patrols in the area to provide reassurance to local residents.”

COP26 has attracted multiple protests as world leaders and industry heads bring the conference to an end after a period full of promises and pledges.

However, accumulated incidents of police intimidation, harassment and aggression towards activists at Cop26 are creating “an atmosphere of fear and repression” on the streets of Glasgow and have had a chilling effect on protest, campaigners and monitoring groups have said.

Kat Hobbs, of the Network for Police Monitoring, said: “Police Scotland seem to have gone for a saturation approach to policing the Cop26 protests, and with so many officers and little for them to do, reports are flooding in of police intimidation, harassment and aggression.

She added: “All of these small incidents add up to create an atmosphere of fear and repression, and have a chilling effect on the right to protest.”

In spite of the efforts of global leaders to improve carbon footprints, about 100,000 people marched in Glasgow to demand more action on the climate crisis.

Greta Thunberg joined the march but did not speak, leaving activists such as Vanessa Nakate to address a rally.

Police arrested 21 scientists who chained themselves together and blocked a road bridge over the River Clyde.

Officers also contained a group of socialist activists after pyrotechnics were set off during the march – one person was then arrested.

World leaders and business heads have pledged to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.

A draft proposal has been submitted, and the US and China have agreed on joint measures to fight climate change and reduce emissions in a rare public diplomacy statement.

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