We are re-sharing this article because This Is Rigged has confirmed to The National that they were responsible for all five suspensions during FMQs on March 30. 


THE climate activists who disrupt First Minister Questions every week and smashed the glass case holding William Wallace’s sword say they will continue civil resistance until their demands are met.

This is Rigged describes itself as a community taking “Scottish-specific direct action” to demand that “the Scottish Government oppose all new oil and gas projects and ensure a just transition for our oil workers”.

The group has disrupted FMQs five times since January 12 and has no plans to stop.

In December 2022, three women from Glasgow began spray-painting the This is Rigged social media handle around the city inspired by the methods of Otpor, a 1990s Serbian anti-authoritarianism group which began as a civic protest group, eventually turning into a movement.

In six weeks, the three friends have built their reach to have around 60 members active in Glasgow, with hopes to build across Scotland.

READ MORE: FMQs: Douglas Ross shouts 'f***'s sake' as proceedings suspended

Their latest FMQs disruption prompted leader of the opposition, Douglas Ross, to swear in frustration and comment on the repeated interruptions. 

Before the feed was cut, Ross could be heard saying “f***’s sake” as he sat down.

Once the session resumed, he said: "I have to say, it's getting very tiresome these constant interruptions at First Minister's Questions.

"We are here putting democratically elected to put questions to the First Minister, and when it gets disrupted like that ... people watching and people who want to hear the questions and the answers are getting pretty fed up by that childish behaviour."

One of the women, Eilidh McFadden, told The National of her reaction to Ross’s outburst.

She said: “He called it childish behaviour but it was literally just us using our rights and begging for our future, and what we’re talking about is more serious than anything they are talking about.

The National: The group from the most recent protestThe group from the most recent protest (Image: This is Rigged)

“I know they’re talking about policy, but the world is going through extreme weather conditions that humans are not designed to cope with, so all we’re doing is using our basic human right to tell them to protect it.”

Joe, one of the protesters from the most recent disruption, said: “Whilst the endorsement and licensing of new fossil fuel projects continues in the North Sea. Us as activists and members of the public will continue to raise the alarm of the destruction of the planet.

"This may seem ‘tiresome’ in the eyes of Douglas Ross. In our eyes it is necessary. These interruptions will stop when people in power start to make the correct decision for our people and planet."

When asked if she believed the Government will respond or work with the group, McFadden said: “I hope so, but I don’t hold any hope. I’ve lost faith in politicians, so it’s more about forcing that change. We’ve tried to talk about it by writing letters or educating people but it’s not worked.”

Later on Thursday, the group posted a video of members smashing the glass case holding William Wallace’s sword and spraying "This Is Rigged" on the broken glass.

The National: A stone used to smash the glass displayA stone used to smash the glass display (Image: Just Stop Oil)

The two members smashed the glass with a rock and hammers. The female activist in the video says: "111 years ago, Suffragettes stood in this very spot to stand up for their rights and freedom, 600 years before William Wallace defended our freedom with this very sword. Now it is time for us to stand up for our rights too.”

Her male counterpart says: "We demand the Scottish Government formally oppose all new oil and gas licenses, and support a just, greener economy.

"This is rigged, but it doesn't have to be."

The pair were arrested after the act of vandalism, and have now been charged.

In response to Stirling Council calling the act a “shameful incident” and an “outrageous defacement”, McFadden, 20, citied statistics from Historic Scotland in 2018 which estimates 70% of Scotland’s most historic sites will be damaged by climate change, such as flooding, by 2050 if action on the climate crisis is not taken.

READ MORE: FMQs: FM accuses Douglas Ross of 'opportunism' over recycling scheme

The research drew on forecasts from Sepa that sea levels around Scotland will increase by between 16.5 and 28 centimetres by 2050, threatening coastal sites such as Skara Brae.

Average temperatures will rise by 2.8C in summer and 2.2C in winter, while average rainfall will jump by 16% in winter and fall by 13% in summer, increasing the risks of grassland and forest fires at historic sites.

The Scottish Parliament is one of the historical sites given an “amber” risk warning.

She added: “The risk to our cultural heritage is actually increasing, without our actions, so we all need to fight to protect it. Smashing that glass is nothing compared to the destruction we’re going to see without immediate steps.”

McFadden and friends host soup nights, with music, as well as banner building and civil disruption workshops for upcoming protests and current campaigns. The group's Instagram caption about one event reads: “Such an explosion of creativity, community and resistance - amazing to have everyone in one space, strengthening our action.”

Looking ahead to the summer, the group plans to physically blockade oil and gas infrastructure and construction, continue disrupting FMQs, as well as culture destruction. 

Destruction of cultural sites or objects is used by groups to make a political statement, from revolutionists in France beheading cathedral statues in the 18th century to activists throwing soup on Van Gogh's Sunflower painting last October.

When asked if she had been one of the many who had disrupted FMQ’s, McFadden said: “I haven’t disrupted FMQ’s, yet."