A “DECLARATION of rebellion” has been announced at the Scottish Parliament by a radical climate change action group which has started to recruit in Scotland.

Hundreds of Scots have already signed up to Extinction Rebellion after the group organised one of the biggest acts of mass civil disobedience in the UK in decades.

Around 90 demonstrators were arrested last Saturday when thousands of people blocked London’s main bridges and glued themselves to government buildings in an attempt to make politicians take climate change more seriously.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has backed the group along with nearly 100 senior UK academics.

Yesterday saw the first Scottish action organised by the group with a rally in Edinburgh addressed by Scottish Greens co-convenor Patrick Harvie, Caroline Rance of Friends of the Earth Scotland, Ruth Wilkinson from Global Justice Now and Luke Devlin, director of the Centre for Human Ecology.

Earlier in the week, more than 200 people joined the Edinburgh branch at its inaugural meeting while meetings have been overflowing in Glasgow. Groups are also being set up in Dundee, St Andrews and Highlands and Islands.

A spokesperson said the group was growing “exponentially” because of dismay at government inaction.

The group says citizens have a “moral duty to rebel” because the Government is not doing enough to stop climate change and is therefore “criminally negligent”. “We are willing to leave our comfort zones and make sacrifices to take action for change,” said the spokesperson.

A new member of the Edinburgh group said the movement was “growing like crazy”.

“I think this is the first time, certainly since the direct action protests of the 1990s that there has been a mass campaign of non-violent direct action taking place all over the UK. So it’s a very exciting moment,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Dundee group said it was important that Scotland joined the movement.

“We need to recognise the impact the climate emergency has on us citizens and how this is perpetuated by lack of action by the Government that should be protecting us,” he said.

In Glasgow, a public talk is being organised at Locavore on Tuesday. “This is an emergency,” said a spokesperson. “The deadly heatwave that gripped the world over the summer is only a glimpse of what is to come if we do not properly address the crisis. The Government and environmental NGOs have failed to do so. We need to build a mass movement that is prepared to accept what is happening and act accordingly. We need change. We need to rebel.”

The climate rebels at Locavore are demanding the Scottish Government “tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse policies that help drive the climate crisis, and work to enable a rapid and just transition to a sustainable and fair society”.

They want the Scottish Government to bring in legally binding policies to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and the creation of a Scottish Citizens’ Assembly to oversee the changes.

“We are facing an unprecedented global emergency,” said the Extinction Rebellion spokesperson. “To survive, it’s going to take everything we’ve got. This requires a global effort but it must begin in wealthy countries such as Scotland.

“The science is clear that humankind as a whole faces social collapse within decades, the death of billions of people, and the extinction of millions of species. Including, possibly, our own.

“The IPCC report last month has given the sobering message – 12 years to stop climate change. We must act now, or be complicit in the destruction of the planet.”

Harvie told the crowd yesterday that citizens could not sit back and rely on a Government “obsessed within its hard-right Brexit agenda” to act.

“We can’t wait for profit-driven corporations to take the necessary action either, and some of the worst polluters are still funding the climate denial industry,” he said.

“But we can’t accept that the Scottish Government’s proposals, which represent a slowdown on emission cuts and a tax giveaway to industries like airlines, are up to the challenge.”

Caroline Rance, Friends of the Earth Scotland climate campaigner, who spoke at the rally outside Parliament before a march to St Andrew’s House said: “Millions of people around the world are already suffering devastating impacts of climate change. People are understandably frustrated with governments’ approach of tinkering around the edges of this problem.

“With a new climate law going through the Scottish Parliament, we have a real opportunity to commit to the urgent action needed within the next decade. Our politicians need to start listening to the people who want to help make this change happen.”