Hundreds of people are expected to take part in an independent anti-windfarm protest planned for the SNP conference in Perth today.
Organiser Linda Holt, who lives in the East Neuk of Fife, believes the protest will be a “watershed in the opposition to the SNP’s plan to turn Scotland into the Saudi Arabia of Wind”.
Ms Holt expects to attract hundreds of activists from across Scotland. She says the Perth event will see the launch of a “new, more militant strand in Scotland’s growing anti-windfarm movement.”
The protest is being hosted by the Gask and Strathearn Protection Society (GASPS), fighting a proposal by Stroud firm Ecotricity for four 125m turbines a few miles from Perth.
GASPS has secured permission from Perth and Kinross Council to fly a red blimp at industrial turbine height behind the concert venue.
A lifesize plastic replica of a turbine will be carried through the streets. Billed as a family event, children are encouraged to come along in facepaint, masks or fancy dress, depicting animals and birds threatened by turbines.
A procession will culminate outside the concert hall in time for protesters to make their presence felt during the First Minister’s keynote speech at the SNP conference.
Ms Holt said she believed politicians are already “showing signs of nervousness”.
She claims Environment Minister Fergus Ewing has been reluctant to greet protesters.
But a split has emerged amongst anti-wind turbine protesters.
Ms Holt revealed yesterday that she is no longer the press officer for anti-windfarm umbrella group CATS (Communities Against Turbines Scotland). She said she was “summarily dismissed” by CATS directors this week after she “voiced criticisms of the campaign group’s leadership”.
Ms Holt has questioned CATS’ decision to ally itself with controversial American billionaire Donald Trump’s high-profile opposition to a proposed offshore windfarm near his Aberdeenshire golf course.
Describing Donald Trump as “a distraction” from the concerns of Scots who “are not being listened to”, she went on: “The Scottish Government can ignore objections to planning applications, they can ignore letters but they can’t ignore hundreds of folk in the streets, stamping their feet and demanding a rethink of this ruinous policy.”
Ms Holt added: “Only last week Alex Salmond insisted there was no serious evidence showing windfarms harmed landscapes and that no amount of footstamping would alter the Government from pursuing a responsible course of action. We’re calling on folk to come to Perth, stamp their feet and prove the First Minister wrong.”
Highland anti-wind farm campaigner and coorganiser of the Perth protest, Lyndsey Ward said: “We’re forming an alliance of anti-wind campaigners which will use the Perth event as a springboard for future popular protests.”
Commenting on news of the CATS split, WWF Scotland director Dr Richard Dixon said: “The stability of Scotland’s anti-wind farm movement now seems to be just as flimsy as the spurious arguments they use against harnessing wind energy.”