Extinction Rebellion turned out at Dundee Sheriff Court yesterday in support of seven members who appeared in court charged with breach of the peace linked to a gas rig protest.
Federico Pastoris, 24, Mark Quinn, 21, Marco Tenconi, 23, Guy Bowen, 31, Alison Orr, 27, Joanne Venables, 35 and Fiona Comrie, 25, appeared on petition before Sheriff John Rafferty in connection with a disturbance at the Port of Dundee on Monday.
Pastoris, of Wright’s Houses in Edinburgh, Quinn, of Hammerfield Avenue in Aberdeen, Tenconi, of Hartington Place in Edinburgh, Bowen, of Langside Road in Glasgow, Orr, of Blackness Avenue in Dundee, Venables, of Hartington Pace in Edinburgh and Comrie, of Balbair Road in Nairn made no plea during their brief appearances and were granted bail pending further enquiries by the Crown.
The seven were accused of approaching the Valaris oil rig in an inflatable boat on the River Tay and either climbing onto the structure or assisting others to do so, attaching themselves to the rig for several hours and refusing to leave.
All but Bowen were also charged with possessing a lock knife on various streets in Dundee and at the River Tay on January 6.
As part of their bail conditions, all seven were ordered by the sheriff not to board or attempt to board any oil rig or vessel in Scotland without permission.
Bowen, Quinn, Cormie and Orr were also barred from entering or remaining in Edinburgh on January 12, 13, 14 and 15 as the wider protest group has a demonstration planned in the capital for January 14.
Procurator fiscal depute Vicki Lee Bell did not seek the second condition of bail on the other three accused as they live in Edinburgh.
The protestors were all represented in court by solicitor James Bready, from Glasgow.
Members of Extinction Rebellion from Dundee and across Scotland turned out with flags to show support for those who had been detained.
Specialist police were brought in from elsewhere in Scotland in anticipation of protests at the court.
Jess Cowell, spokeswoman for Extinction Rebellion Scotland, said: “The climate crisis is the defining issue of our time. Just look at what is happening in Australia now,” she said, referencing the wildfires devastating large swathes of the country.
“It’s a global issue affecting everyone, even here in Dundee, with a sea wall being built in Broughty Ferry
“Direct action is required to raise awareness and send a clear message to the fossil fuel corporations that this has to stop.”
The alleged action at the Port of Dundee by the self-professed “Rig Rebels” is the first large-scale direct action carried out by Extinction Rebellion in Dundee.
There is little suggestion of such activities stopping despite the threat of prosecution.
Following the disturbance at the Port of Dundee on Monday, would-be local activists were taken through “direct action training” at a location in Dundee.
Stu Bretherton, an activist with XR Dundee, said more action was to come in the city.
He said: “We are getting more experience, and more people willing to take on these direct actions, people who are willing to step up their game.”