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Page added on August 20, 2010

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Edinburgh, Activists Protest Fossil Fuel Investment

Enviroment

ECO protestors stormed the grounds surrounding the Royal Bank of Scotland HQ in Edinburgh today.
They also launched other climate change protests in the city centre as police made a small number of arrests.
Around 150 activists – going under the name Climate Group – pitched 30 tents and a small marquee inside the grounds of the RBS campus shortly before bank staff reported for duty at 9am.
Police and security guards in high visibility vests immediately set up a cordon round the sprawling Gogarburn site near Edinburgh Airport, and positioned officers on the RBS bridge overhanging the main A8 road nearby.
The protest is over financial support for fossil fuel investments.

Speaking outside the bank’s HQ yesterday Kevin Smith from Climate Camp said: “We want the public, the bank’s account holders and their employees to know that RBS is a major investor in harmful fossil fuel industries.
“Their investment in tar sand oil extraction in Canada has left landscapes and communities ravaged.”
Displaced
Among those involved are people from an indigenous Canadian community who say they have been displaced by the tar sands project and are expect to give a talk at the camp today.
Richard Bernard, a protester with Climate Camp, said: “We set up camp here to shine light on the fact that coal extraction in the UK and the tar sands in Canada are all only made possible because of banks like RBS financing them.
“We need to stop these obstructive projects by taking on the institutions that seed them, and a really major institution is RBS – even though it is majority owned by the public and government, it is the biggest financer of fossil fuel in the UK.”
“It is a huge area of what was once wilderness, the size of England, and now it looks like the surface of the moon – it is visible from space.
“It is a really dirty kind of oil which is being dug up and it has had huge amounts of polluting effects so that now the indigenous people there have a very high rate of cancer.”
Arriving from all over the UK, protesters answered a last minute call to get to the site a day early in order to wrong-foot the authorities.
Perched on top of a hill looking down on the RBS building, the camp looks like the start of a miniature music festival with kitchens and toilets to accommodate the large numbers expected.

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