Scottish Parliament staff told to take work laptops home as Extinction Rebellion camp opens

The camp outside Holyrood. Protesters plan to remain there until Thursday
The camp outside Holyrood. Protesters plan to remain there until Thursday
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Scottish Parliament staff have been advised to take work laptops home with them when they leave Holyrood tonight as an environmental protest outside the building begins.

Members of Extinction Rebellion Scotland intend to camp in the grounds of the parliament until Thursday. They are calling on the Scottish Government to do more in response to what they call a "climate crisis and ecological breakdown".

In an email sent to staff today, Holyrood bosses advised those with portable IT equipment to "take it home every night this week" and arrive for work earlier as increased security is in operation around the building.

It said: "You will be aware that Extinction Rebellion members are camping on the Parliament’s grounds. The group has released a document on social media which sets out their intention to remain here until Thursday.

"There is therefore the potential for travel disruption this afternoon, possibly extending into this evening."

Warning staff about a planned "human chain" around the parliament on Tuesday morning, the email added: "We do not have further information about this. We suggest that you arrive at Holyrood prior to 08:30 on Tuesday 18 June, if possible. Please discuss this with your manager if you need to.

"We will keep you updated if there are any changes to accessing the building. Any updates in the morning will come via the internal Alert messaging system so please keep an eye on your phone/device."

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Organisers have pledged the camp would see "non-violent direct action" in the Capital this week.

They are calling on the Scottish Government to do more in response to what they call a "climate crisis and ecological breakdown" as the Climate Bill is to be discussed in Holyrood this week.

Lauren McGlynn, a 38-year-old photographer and activist, told the BBC: "Extinction Rebellion Scotland have decided to put up this camp outside of the Scottish Parliament to try to put pressure on the government to give us the best possible climate bill.

"Currently the climate bill they are considering is based on the Committee on Climate Change report, which at best gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5C, and it's based on a bunch of techno-fixes that haven't been proven and are yet to be invented.

"Scotland should be a climate leader, they should do enough, they should go far enough because the other countries in the world will be much harder to persuade if we don't do enough.