Three activists from This Is Rigged have been arrested after covering the public entrance to Holyrood in red paint.

As part of their ongoing protest about food poverty, banners were displayed which read: “Hunger is a political choice”.

The group conducted a similar protest last week at the UK Government's HQ in Edinburgh.

The Herald:

This Is Rigged has vowed to escalate its 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 a press release released by the organisation, Louis Wombacher, 21, said: "There has been an increase in Victorian-era diseases such as malnutrition, scurvy and rickets, diseases which can easily be irradicated and prevented with easy access to food.

"Babies will not be fed properly when baby formula prices go up and the products are security tagged because supermarkets care more about their profits than poor mothers stealing formula for their starving babies.”

It is not the first time the group has targeted Holyrood. A similar incident in August 2023 left the parliament with a clean-up bill of around £6,000.

With Holyrood sitting Tuesday to Thursday, Mondays are generally quiet days in the building, with most MSPs and their staff elsewhere. 

However, the door stained by the protesters is the main entrance for visitors and guests.

The Parliament said while the building is still open for public access, delays were likely as an alternative entrance would need to be used. 

They have urged any visitors arriving for pre-arranged meetings to phone ahead or where possible, arrive early.


The Herald:

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

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.” 

Last week, Holyrood's Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone said she would review security after protesters from the group derailed First Minister’s Questions.

The session had to be paused nine times while activists were escorted out of the public gallery after shouting at MSPs about food poverty and climate change.

The Herald:

Earlier this month, they doused the Scott Monument in Edinburgh’s Princes Street with "soup" from fire extinguishers to highlight “skyrocketing” food insecurity.  

The protest follows similar statues and monuments being targeted, including those of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in Glasgow’s George Square on Monday. Two people were also arrested two people after defacing a bust of Queen Victoria at Kelvingrove Museum.