THE climate group behind disruption at First Minister's Questions have said they will continue to do so - despite the six-month ban imposed on protesters yesterday.

This is Rigged said they will return to FMQs after the Easter recess of the Scottish Parliament and escalate action by blockading oil and gas infrastructure "if demands are not met".

The group has disrupted FMQs on eight occasions since January 12 and caused Parliament to introduce a rule on Tuesday 28 to have mobile devices stored before accessing the chamber. 

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"We got footage no problem. I think they did seem a bit more stressed out this time when people were filming, but there wasn't a problem with getting phone in," said Eilidh McFadden, who is one of the original members.

She shared that after the five disruptions in fifteen minutes at Humza Yousaf's debut FMQ's, activists who took part felt "they were taking democracy back."

McFadden added: "I think especially with the majority of Scots being for the fastest possible transition to renewables, but what they are discussing in Parliament isn't that.

"So it's going against what the public are asking for, the fact that what we're doing is saying 'we the people, a member of the public, are standing up' so I think they all felt quite proud of themselves."

The National: Several activists have attended several times, and some only onceSeveral activists have attended several times, and some only once (Image: PA)

The constant disruption caused the public gallery to be cleared by instruction from Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone at this week's FMQs.

Later on Thursday evening, the Presiding Officer said This is Rigged demonstrators who interrupted five times on Thursday would be banned from the parliamentary estate for six months.

Johnstone wrote: “Under my authority, all those who disrupted business today will be issued with a ban from the chamber public galleries for six months.

McFadden told The National that she wasn't convinced they could uphold the ban or stop activists from attending the sessions as "it's very hard to know who a member is cause we're a diverse group".

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The 20-year-old added: "We're people from all walks of life and we've all come together because we all believe in the same thing, and that's a just transition for oil workers.

"It's going to be hard for them to stop us if they can't stereotype us."

The group has seen "constant growth" since December 2022 and said their demands are quite simple.

McFadden and two other 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.

But Energy is reserved?

The group say their demands are simple: “It’s just to have the Scottish Government have clear opposition to all new fossil fuel projects and create a clear and fully funded transition for oil workers”.

When asked how the group responds to critics who say energy is a reserved issue, McFadden said:

“I think that’s the thing – the just transition is a devolved matter. Why should we go down to Westminster, all the way to London, when our own government haven’t even got our backs, and they’re not opposing oil and gas extraction? They do have control over the transition.”

“We in Scotland are paying the highest price for energy out of the whole of the UK, and that’s because the UK controls our oil and gas, but if we had a transition to renewables then we would own the energy, and we would decide how to distribute it, and it would be cheaper.”

The new Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition is Clydesdale MSP Mairi McAllan.

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McFadden argued that the FM's policy pledges and promises and climate did not match his actions and that his “greenwashing” to the public caused more harm than good, and they would be happy to meet and speak with the government.

She said: “Humza is saying he is for net zero and he’s for transition but there’s absolutely no plan for it, and at his FMQs he talked about his plan for the climate crisis, but he is making a plan that will be ready in eight months’ time. We don’t have eight months’ time to wait for a plan that is going to be a draft, that will then have to go through process after process".

The activists said that Scots were suffering during the energy crisis to the point of freezing so the Government must take immediate action.

McFadden added: "The government lured people into a false sense of security that the SNP are protecting us but it’s not true.”

The campaigner added that if Yousaf "stands in Parliament and talks about how he's going to protect people but doesn't take the simple things that he can do to protect life" then “it is our democratic right” to attend FMQs and hold Yousaf to account “it is our democratic right” to attend FMQs and hold Yousaf to account.