Nicola Sturgeon has said she has confidence that today’s mass climate march will be policed “appropriately” after campaigners at Cop26 raised concerns about “heavy-handed” policing of protests over the first week of the summit.
Between 50,000 and 100,000 people are expected to join the Global Day for Climate Justice, with more than 200 similar events taking place around the world, and over 100 in the UK alone.
Sturgeon told reporters on Friday that Iain Livingstone, Police Scotland’s chief constable, had spoken to the force’s independent advisory group after the concerns were raised in an open letter published on Thursday evening.
The march will set off from Kelvingrove park at midday, organised in a series of campaign blocs and walk through the city to Glasgow Green for a rally with speakers including Greta Thunberg, Mitzi Jonelle Tan, Vanessa Nakate and Darren McGarvey.
Asad Rehman, a spokesperson for the COP Coalition, said: “We are taking to the streets across the world this weekend to push governments from climate inaction to climate justice.
“This has been the least accessible climate summit ever – with so many people side-lined at the talks or not able to make it in the first place. Today those people are having their voices heard.”
Gary Ritchie, Police Scotland’s assistant chief constable, appealed to marchers to act responsibly and warned people travelling to Glasgow to prepare for delays.
He added: “There will be an increased police presence in Glasgow and roads, public transport and the streets will be significantly busier than would normally be expected in the city on a Saturday.
“If you’re going to a march, please act responsibly, be respectful in your actions and follow the route and instructions given to you by event organisers or police officers.”