CLIMATE activists protesting the expansion of a North Sea port joined forces with migrant rights campaigners for a protest against the detention of asylum seekers in Scotland.

Climate Camp Scotland said the protest aimed to highlight how the people “least responsible” for climate change were made to bear the brunt of its effects.

Ahn-Quân Nguyen, an organiser of the group, drew parallels with the treatment of environmental refugees and of a working-class community in Torry, Aberdeen at risk from losing a park to facilitate the expansion of Aberdeen Harbour.

We reported yesterday how activists stormed a restricted part of the port in protest over the move which will see St Fittick’s Park in the area bulldozed to make way for the new Energy Transition Zone, a project which aims to increase the green potential of Aberdeen’s energy industry.

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The National:

Campaigners from the migrant justice group Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment (More) were joined by Climate Camp Scotland activists for an hour-long rally in the city’s Mercat Square, from midday on Monday.

Nguyen told The National around 50 to 70 people attended the rally, which included a moment of silence for Adnan Olbeh, a refugee who died in hotel detention during lockdown in Glasgow, and Badreddin Abadlla Adam, the refugee who carried out the Park Inn Hotel attack and was shot dead by police.

Nguyen said: “One of our main goals is to build solidarity that goes to groups that are suffering the most from the climate crisis.

“That includes those who are displaced by climate change, those who are having to leave their homes as a result of conflicts driven by climate change, or as a result of famines, droughts.”

He added: “Those who have been displaced are the least responsible for causing the climate crisis -  we from industrialised countries with historically high emissions, like Scotland with North Sea oil and gas, have a duty of solidarity to those people who have been forced to leave their homes.”

The project to clear St Fittick’s Park was “similar” as third-world countries bearing the brunt of the climate crisis currently said Nguyen, adding: “It’s always hitting those who are least responsible, who are most marginalised.

The National:

“It’s never those who are most responsible for the pollution and the injustice who suffer.”

The Energy Transition Zone, an industry led body seeking to promote the transition away from fossil fuels towards renewables, has said there will be "no overall net-loss in environmental capacity associated with the development of the zone". 

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His organisation set up camp in parkland in the south of Torry on Thursday and will leave at 6pm on Monday.

Yvonne Blake of More said: ‘‘As the climate crisis intensifies, more and more people from the global south experience displacement, loss of ancestral land, culture, and lives.

“Droughts, wars, and floods are all consequences of carbon pollution caused by the west. Yet in Britain, asylum-seeking people face government hostility. 

“Some people have been detained in hotels for up to nine months, and in that period have had to move between four hotels.

“Currently here in Aberdeen, there are over 100 men in hotels without access to employment, and education.

"These conditions do not prevent people fleeing persecution. What we need are safe routes, and for people to be treated with utmost dignity, respect, as set out in the UN Refugee Convention.”

The Home Office has come under fire from human rights organisations for its plans to deport refugees who arrive in Britain in small boats to Rwanda. Home Secretary Priti Patel has refused to budge on opening up safe routes for asylum seekers looking for safety in the UK, resulting in large numbers attempting perilous Channel crossings and other dangerous approaches.