The system has always been rigged against the people. Time and again throughout history, people in Scotland, like in every single other country, have been systematically exploited by the people in power.

From shipbuilding, to land ownership, to women’s right to vote, there is a long history of oppressive systems being upheld by politicians. But there is also a long history of resistance; every single right, every single liberty that we have has been fought for, hard won by ordinary people who have stood up against political corruption and systemic injustice.

In 1915, Mary Barbour led a 20,000 tenant strike against exploitative wartime rent rises in Glasgow, which led to a rent cap. The Crofting Act of 1886, ensuring the rights of crofters to their land, was won through resistance by the Highland Land League, with direct action including occupying land that had been unjustly seized from their forebears. These are the stories that define our history, and they must become the stories that define our future.

We also know that these rights, these hard-won liberties, are being threatened. As climate change intensifies, any semblance of fair and democratic society is called under threat.

We are seeing this already with the cost-of-living crisis. This is a crisis of greed, plain and simple, of corporate profiteering depriving folk of their basic needs.

Last month, Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said, “the economy is being rigged against workers – from supermarkets to energy bills, oil refineries to transport, we are all paying the price.”

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1 in 3 people in Scotland cannot afford to pay their energy bills. 1 in 4 children in Scotland are living in poverty. The number of people dependent on food banks has increased by almost 80% in the last five years. Our government is doing nothing to stop this.

What we are asking of the Scottish Government is the absolute bare minimum – for them to oppose the murderous 130 new oil and gas projects that Westminster is pushing through, and to create a fair transition for workers. For them to defend our basic right to a liveable future.

The Scottish Government must step up. If they will not, then we must ensure our own right to life. Our future now rests firmly in our own hands. When we step into nonviolent civil resistance, we withdraw our cooperation from a system that is actively causing harm.

At times like this, the Highland Land League’s slogan rings true: ‘Is Treasa Tuath na Tighearna’ – The People Are Mightier Than a Lord. Collectively, we outnumber the handful of people profiting off of this crisis. Collectively, we are stronger than this elite caste of politicians who will stand by and watch the displacement and starvation of billions, the collapse of food systems, and avoidable natural disasters that worsen every single year, all as a result of climate collapse.

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that, “We all have the right to take part in the running of our country […]. All of us have the right to speak freely and participate in decisions that affect our lives.”

All we are doing when we disrupt parliament is ensuring our voices are heard on the most urgent issue that humanity faces. Bans will not stop us. Police harassment will not stop us. Meaningful action on a decision that affects every single life on earth is the only way to stop us.

Thus far, we have simply been peacefully disrupting parliament. If our demands are not met, we will escalate – this summer, ordinary people are stepping into nonviolent civil resistance. This is Rigged will be shutting down oil infrastructure until our demands are met. You can join us at

Politicians are not going to save us. We are done with asking politely. There is no moment as crucial as now.

Hannah Bright, This is Rigged Co-founder