Bangladesh travel

Erskine Bridge briefly closes as Greenpeace defies authorities and travels to COP26 via Firth of Clyde

The Erskine Bridge was temporarily closed today for just over an hour and a half this afternoon as a ship carrying young Greenpeace activists traveled to COP26.

Activists had been told they were not allowed to ascend the Firth of Clyde due to security restrictions, but ignored the restrictions.

When the ship, the Rainbow Warrior, approached Scottish Police and port authorities requested that the bridge be closed to traffic to allow the ship to navigate safely under it. It has been described as the “safest option” for escorting the ship to its destination by Scottish Police Deputy Chief Constable Gary Ritchie.

The bridge closed at 2:30 p.m. and was fully reopened at 4:05 p.m.

The ship departed from Liverpool on Saturday evening and arrived at the Scottish Exhibition Center in Glasgow around 5 p.m.

On board the ship are Jakapita Faith Kandanga, 24, from Namibia, Farzana Faruk, 22, from Bangladesh, Maria Reyes, 19, from Mexico and Edwin Moses Namakanga, 27, from Uganda. All come from the countries hardest hit by the climate crisis.

In a joint statement, the activists said: “The authorities saw the meaning and now understand that our presence at the climate summit is too important to be excluded.

“It is ludicrous to think that the climate talks could go ahead without the people most affected there and it is positive that the police and port authorities have changed their minds.

“World leaders participating in the talks could learn a lot from this cooperation. We have been ignored long enough, and now with safe passage to Glasgow, our voices must be heard at COP26. “

Photo: Jakapita Faith Kandanga, 24, from Namibia, left, Farzana Faruk, 22, from Bangladesh, second from left, Maria Reyes, 19, from Mexico, second from right, and Edwin Moses Namakanga, 27, d ‘Uganda Image credits: Suzanne Plunkett / Greenpeace UK

Scottish Police Deputy Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: ‘Port authorities were in regular communication with the Rainbow Warrior and had indicated that due to the restrictions and some significant safety concerns she could not navigate. to its intended destination.

“Despite this, the captain of the Rainbow Warrior has signaled his intention to continue.

“Accordingly, after consultation between the police and the port authorities, it was considered that the safest option for the crew of the Rainbow Warrior and the general public was to ensure the safe passage of the vessel to its destination.

“We are now engaging with Greenpeace and all relevant partners to ensure the safe passage of this vessel, its passengers and the general public. “

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