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Activism

The campaigners using COP26 to highlight their big issues

COP26 will give world leaders the chance to meet, but will also give activists the opportunity to make themselves heard on the world stage. Here’s what you can expect

With the COP26 climate summit taking place in Glasgow, protesters are taking to the streets while delegates negotiate the ins and outs of the climate crisis.

Last-minute offers accepted by trade unions mean workers across refuse and the railways won’t strike as planned, but there will still be plenty action around the city. Here’s your guide to the campaigners making their voices heard at COP26.

Extinction Rebellion

They want: An international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse.

When? Definitely now. XR have indicated that plans are in motion for “targeted disruption” during COP26. On October 30 they’re hosting a Pilgrims’ Procession, “a people’s walk for the planet” through the streets of Glasgow, welcoming all those who have come to the city willing to demonstrate a demand for a fair deal come the end of COP26.

Campaign Against Climate Change

They want: Urgent and radical action to prevent the catastrophic destabilisation of global climate.

When? November 6 is Global Day for Climate Justice, when protests in Glasgow and the rest of the world will show how many people are pushing for politicians to make the changes needed to save the planet. These mass demonstrations and protests are set to take place throughout the UK.

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Find your local demonstration here.

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Fridays for Future

They want: A youth-led and organised global climate strike movement that started in August 2018, when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began a school strike for climate, demanding that society sees the climate crisis for what it is: a crisis.

When? Every Friday. But on November 5, thousands will take to Kelvingrove at 11.30am for a march towards Glasgow city centre. 

Interfaith Scotland

They want: A unique prayer and meditation vigil bringing together people of all backgrounds in Glasgow and – via a live-stream – around the world, in a powerful, symbolic act of unity and solidarity for our planet.

When? October 31 on George Square.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work. With each subscription we invest every penny back into supporting the network of sellers across the UK. A subscription also means you'll never miss the weekly editions of an award-winning publication, with each issue featuring the leading voices on life, culture, politics and social activism.

Islamic Relief UK and Tearfund

They want: A protest art exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery consisting of original portraits that have been dipped in black ink to demonstrate the lives of those who have been devastated by climate change. The dipping process was filmed by the BBC and will be available to catch on Sunday in the middle of COP26, via Songs of Praise.

When? Artist Iain Campbell told The Big Issue: “It’s about trying to communicate these ideas to the general public. I don’t expect Boris Johnson or Joe Biden to look at these paintings, but if we get a groundswell of folks in the UK who further understand the impact of our carbon footprint on the lives of the most vulnerable people on the planet, then hopefully more people will care more and there will be further demand for action.”

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