Friday, 27 November 2020

PROTEST DEMONSTRATIONS FOR 2021

The SGA has dealt with an unprecedented number of calls, messages and other communications through the night, since the Scottish Government decision to move to an immediate licensing of driven grouse moors.

As members will know, the SGA wrote to council officials in Edinburgh in February for permission to hold a protest demonstration outside Scottish Parliament.

Due to being placed in a national lockdown, that planned protest could not go ahead, despite travel plans having been made by many.

Covid-19 has meant sacrifices for all and our members were in agreement that no protest should be held as the country deals with the pandemic.

The SGA fully intends to honour that. However, following yesterday's events, it is clear that members wish their democratic right to protest not to be denied.

With this in mind, and recognising the country is still in the grip of a health emergency, we will today begin planning localised direct protests so that our members can have their say.

We will keep members updated over the coming weeks, with protests set to happen in 2021 and ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections.

Chairman Alex Hogg said: "People take to the streets when they feel they are no longer being listened to. That is where our members are right now and this is the message we have received loud and clear since yesterday's events in Holyrood, and leading up to this.

"Since the Scottish Parliament was built, few sectors have been scrutinised like ours, not just the grouse sector but deer, low ground shoots, salmon rivers, everything to do with our way of life. It is relentless and it is affecting people and the health of their loved ones. We are now being blamed for climate change and the nature 'emergency' by politicians in Scotland's Parliament. When things get to that level, it is dangerous. All perspective has been lost.

"Our members will no longer be political low hanging fruit or a community to be sacrificed because some politicians want to right old wrongs that we had nothing to do with. Our members are living, breathing human beings with hopes and fears like everyone else but they are being treated like a minority group who are fair game to be attacked at every turn, even in the chambers of our Parliament.

"We will engage with Scottish Government on licensing, when the time is right, but our members want to have their say and it is only correct that they should be allowed to do so."