Unfortunately, 5 clowns who had created a fun, party-like, light-hearted atmosphere at the protest were suddenly surrounded by police and unlawfully arrested. They were charged with Breach of the Peace for ‘milling around’. Please read about this here: http://scotland.indymedia.org/newswire/display/5544/index.php
The protest was organised by Agrofuel Action Edinburgh and took place on the day the RTFO (Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation) came into effect. The law dictates that all fuel suppliers must sell only fuel mixed with 2.5% biofuel. However, greenhouse gas emissions from fuel grown in large-scale monocultures are higher than those from conventional fossil fuels. Forests which served as natural carbon sinks are cleared, and indigenous communities are forced off their land, to make space for biofuel plantations. Jean Ziegler (former UN Special Rapporteur on food rights) claims there are 12 million more people going hungry this year than last year. Agrofuel expansion is a huge contributor to this, for its production takes up an increasing percentage of agricultural land.
BP is a major investor in biofuels, as well as being heavily involved in lobbying for the RTFO. The 2003 EU Biofuels Directive calls on governments to move towards 5.75% biofuel use by 2010, and currently plans of a 10% mandatory biofuel target are being discussed. A spokesperson from the Agrofuel Action Edinburgh group, Julia Brownlow, says:
"Numerous scientists, UN officials and development professionals have spoken out against biofuels. It is complete madness to plough ahead with something we know will tip us into runaway climate change as well as causing food shortages and violent land evictions.”
More photos of the protest: http://scotland.indymedia.org/node/10077
More information: www.biofuelwatch.org.uk