Climate action group to hold Skye bridge march and vigil in Portree

Skye Climate Action is set to hold a march across the Skye Bridge on Saturday (6th November) as part of worldwide demonstrations to mark the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice.

The environmental group, which formed shortly before the pandemic, is inviting people to show their solidarity with activists across the world in highlighting the need for urgent change to tackle the existential threat of climate change.

Speaking to the Free Press during the first week of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Skye Climate Action coordinator Anne MacLennan described the summit as “critically important” and was keen to emphasise that Saturday’s event should take place in a peaceful and respectable manner.

“Saturday is the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice, and the themes are that we need to act, and act urgently, and there is also the huge justice issue,” she said.

“The idea for the march is for us to leave the Kyleakin-end at 12 noon and to walk over the bridge by the pavements and walk back again.

“It is really important that the event is peaceful, family-friendly, and respectful of everyone – I think it is a demonstration of the kind of society we want to head towards being, so we can live in a sustainable and equitable way. Issues of climate, biodiversity, equity are all interconnected.

She added: “I think it is more powerful if it is a peaceful walk.”

Giving her views on the progress being made at the COP26, she added: “There are some really hard-hitting things being said, so I hope the issues are getting through to people. It is important that those who are convinced (by the threat of climate change) can demonstrate.”

Addressing the potential for far-reaching consequences to impact people across the world, she said: “We are cushioned now to some extent, although people in the UK have had to suffer from flooding, wildfires, and drought.

“Much of our food comes from overseas, and (if too much damage is done) people will have to migrate and find somewhere else to live – so people will be moving around the world, so places that are nice and comfortable now might then receive other people.

“A huge element of this issue is about all the youngsters and children – the more carbon we put into the atmosphere, the more trouble that they will have to face, meaning there will be less chance for them to turn the situation around.

“This issue is critically important.”

On Friday 12th November, as the conference is expected to be closing, there will be a candlelight vigil in Somerled Square in Portree from 5.30-6pm.

Ms MacLennan added: “There is a sense that people want to show solidarity with what’s happening at COP26 in Glasgow, and they want to be able to express their concerns.

“Holding it in Portree makes it more accessible for people in the north of the island, because Saturday’s march over the bridge is a long way for people further north to travel to be involved, especially if it is a dreadful day.

“For those unable to attend Saturday’s march over the bridge, everyone is of course welcome to walk over the bridge with signage at any point at the weekend. 

“It might be good for people to be wandering over the bridge to and fro at different times to help convey the message.”

Article by ADAM GORDON