PROTESTERS have sprayed red paint over the Scottish Parliament in a bid to draw attention to rising food insecurity in Scotland.

On Monday morning three protesters from This is Rigged sprayed fire extinguishers filled with red paint over the public entrance to Holyrood.

They also displayed banners which read: "Hunger is a political choice". 

“The Tory regime over the last 14 years has done its best to decimate Scotland at every turn," said Marshall, a 26-year-old fitness instructor who took part in the action. 

"We’re at a point where 1 in 4 people in Scotland have experienced food insecurity in the past year.

The National: This is Rigged protesters sprayed red paint over the Scottish Parliament on Monday morning This is Rigged protesters sprayed red paint over the Scottish Parliament on Monday morning (Image: This is Rigged)

"But the Scottish Government also needs to take responsibility for its own citizens - and meet their legal requirement to provide the right to food for their citizens.

"As a country with a strong history of civil unrest towards greedy and exploitative systems, this is a continuation of that. If they won't give us what is rightfully ours it's time to start taking it." 

The group has vowed to escalate their actions until supermarkets reduce the price of baby formula to March 2021 prices and the Scottish Government funds the rollout of community food hubs for every 500 households in Scotland.

In recent days the group has caused major disruption to First Minister’s Questions, interrupting proceedings a total of nine times on Thursday, and sprayed soup over the Scott Monument in a bid to draw attention to their cause. 

Theo Milligan, a 21-year-old hospitality worker from Edinburgh, said, “I’m taking action because I can no longer sit by and watch the cost of living crisis unfold in front of me.

"Food is a basic human right and should not be controlled by money hungry companies.

"It’s vitally important we take action now, we will not stand for these rising prices, and we demand the government will commit to helping its citizens in this time of food crisis.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Three people have been arrested in connection with damage to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh following a protest around 10.45am on Monday, 11 March, 2024. Enquiries are ongoing.”

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A similar protest by This is Rigged took place in August 2023.

It saw red paint sprayed over the same entrance, with the group demanding that the Scottish Government oppose Rishi Sunak's backing of hundreds of new oil and gas licences in the North Sea. 

The clean-up operation and damage caused cost around £6000, according to the Scottish Parliament. 

A spokesperson for the Scottish Parliament said: "Criminal damage to the Parliament is a matter for Police Scotland". 

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “No-one should have to compromise on food or other essentials. Scotland is the first nation in the UK to publish a plan, grounded in human rights, that works towards ending the need for food banks – and the Trussell Trust have commended this.

“Over three years, our £1.8 million Cash-First Programme will support eight public and third sector partnerships. This will strengthen urgent access to cash in a crisis and reduce the need for food parcels, meaning people can access the essentials they need whilst maintaining dignity.

“We have consistently called for the UK Government to provide additional support to people with the cost-of-living crisis.”