Sturgeon 'heartened' by pupils striking over climate

But Scotland's first minister says it is not in her power to guarantee that there will be no arrests of young people

Henry Hepburn

First minister backs pupil strikes over climate crisis

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has lent her support to school students who will go on strike next week to protest against the global climate crisis.

However, when asked to react to suggestions that students in Edinburgh could face police action for joining the global climate strike on Friday 20 September a school day she said this was a matter for the police.

The matter was raised at First Minister's Questions this afternoon, where Green MSP Andy Wightman referred to "media reports that young people may face arrest or be locked up".

Quick read: Restricting climate strikes to one day 'not acceptable'

One head's message to students: Join the climate strike

Insight: Thousands of pupils strike over climate change

Analysis: Meet the UK pupils striking against climate change

Opinion: 'Tackling the climate crisis must be a central focus of education'

Mr Wightman asked: "Does she agree with me that this is nonsense, that no young person will face such action for exercising their rights to peaceful protest, and that we should all reassure young people that they have the right to protest, and that they should be encouraged and supported to exercise it?"

Ms Sturgeon replied: "Obviously, issues around arrest and criminal justice generally are, in this particular instance, for the police and it would be thoroughly inappropriate for me to comment on operational matters."

The first minister added: "Generally speaking, in relation to the climate strikers, I've made very clear in the past my views  they are views that accord very closely to Andy Wightman's.

"I think it is actually very positive, very heartening, very uplifting, to see the younger generation feel so passionate about climate change that they are prepared to protest and make their views known in the way they are.

"And I would hope that all of us would listen to that and take account of what the younger generation are telling us. I know this government is, and I hope governments across the world do."

Ms Sturgeon also said: "I wish those who are taking part in the protests next Friday the very best."

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Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn

Henry Hepburn is the news editor for Tes Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Henry_Hepburn

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