Three found guilty of damaging the Glass to William Wallaces Sword and ordered to pay a fine of £10,000. We are trying to raise money to help cover the costs. Ethel Moorhead, a Suffragette that did the exact same action was only given a £2 fine (which is just under £300 when adjusting for inflation) - we, therefore, think £10,000 is completely disporportionate. Please donate to help support those fighting for a better world!
In March this year Xander Cloudsley (30) a community food organiser from Glasgow and Kat Chan (21) a student, also from Glasgow, broke the glass containing William Wallace's sword at the Wallace Monument in Stirling and spray painted "THIS IS RIGGED" and "NO NEW OIL" over the front. This Is Rigged are demanding that the Scottish Government vocally opposes all new fossil fuel projects in Scotland and creates a clear transition plan for oil workers. The action references one taken by the suffragettes at the same site. Imogen (22) was also arrested and charged alongside Kat and Xander despite doing nothing but filming.
Kat Chan (21), when talking about why she took this action explained:
"I'm doing this because we need to be brave to change the corrupt system threatening our lives and driving Scots into poverty. I'm not willing to watch things get worse every year of my life with climate breakdown, I'm sending a clear message to our Government that we won't wait patiently anymore, enough is enough.
111 years ago the suffragettes stood in this very spot to stand up for their rights and freedom, 600 years before that William Wallace defended our freedom with this very sword. Now it is time for us to stand up for our rights too."
This action has not only happened once, but twice before. Firstly, by Suffragette Ethel Moorhead, who smashed the glass in an attempt to raise awareness about the Suffragette's fight for women’s rights. Ethel used a rock with ‘YOUR LIBERTIES WERE WON BY THE SWORD, RELEASE THE WOMEN WHO ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIBERTIES, STOP THE FORCIBLE FEEDING, A PROTEST FROM DUBLIN’ written across it to smash the glass (1). The glass was then later smashed by a group of Scottish Nationalists in 1936, who say they smashed the glass as a way of symbolically freeing the sword (2).
Like, Ethel, This Is Rigged are inspired by the strength and bravery William Wallace had in his fight for independence. Drawing on Scotland’s rich history of resistance, the action is a tool, not only to attract attention to our fight to end oil and gas but to remind us that many have had similar battles, and won in our history. To draw the link between This is Rigged’ s action and that by Ethel, This Is Rigged also used a rock to smash the glass. Their rock read “YOUR LIBERTIES WERE WON BY THE SWORD, YOUR RIGHTS WERE WON BY THE SUFFRAGETTES. NO NEW OIL AND GAS. FAIR TRANSITION NOW”
Although damage was caused to the glass, there was no damage (and no attempted damage) to the sword itself. This is Rigged carried out the action with the utmost appreciation to the artifact and hold great pride in our Scottish heritage and its long tradition of resistance. This is Rigged are not a threat to Scottish Cultural heritage sites, but the climate crisis certainly will be. A recent study by Historic Environment Scotland shows that Scotland risks losing 70% of is cultural and heritage sites due to flooding by 2050. (3) If we care about our legacy, we must do our best to protect it from climate catastrophes and the best way Scotland can do so is for our government to do its utmost to prevent all new Fossil Fuel projects.
Most importantly WE ARE TRYING TO GET YOU TO LISTEN. We don’t have time to not act. We need action on “everything, everywhere, all at once” (4). We know non-violent direct action works. Ethel Moorhead knew direct-action works. Now it’s time for you to join us.
1) Suffragette Action in Stirling – 1912 - Stirling Local History Society (stirling-lhs.org)
2) The Wallace Sword, Scottish Artefacts | Legends & The Monument (legendsatthemonument.co.uk)
3) Scotland's historic sites at high risk from climate change, report says | Climate crisis | The Guardian
4) Scientists deliver ‘final warning’ on climate crisis: act now or it’s too late | Climate crisis | The Guardian