Lothian and Borders Police confirmed that 12 people were arrested yesterday in connection with the Camp for Climate Change.
The Force committed significant resources to the RBS complex at Gogarburn, Edinburgh – where protestors had indicated they would be demonstrating – and at other areas of the city where activity took place.
Around 9.30am it was discovered that two arterial routes to Edinburgh were badly affected after a substance similar to diesel or vegetable oil was poured onto the carriageways.
City of Edinburgh Council had to use 7.5 tonnes of grit to clean the A720 at Bankhead and the west bound A8.
Lothian Buses removed its vehicles from the roads for a spell while the cleaning operation was carried out. The roads were never closed, but Police urged motorists to proceed with caution until noon when the road was clear once more.
A police spokesman said: ‘This was an extremely reckless and dangerous act which could have put many members of the public at risk.
‘It is a worrying trend, and a disturbing escalation in the activities of the protestors.’
Protestors were arrested after they took action in the city’s Nicolson Street, as well as at Forth Ports, Gogarburn Bridge, Hunter Square and Glasgow Road.
At Nicolson Street, a 25-year-old man and two women aged 38 and 34 were arrested and charged with breach of the peace.
The five arrested and charged with breach of the peace following an incident at Forth Ports are two men aged 20 and 49, and three women aged 23, 41 and 18.
One man, aged 58, was arrested and charged with assault in relation to an incident on Gogarburn Bridge.
A 24-year-old woman was arrested and charged with vandalism in the city’s Hunter Square and two men aged 31 and 33 were charged with breach of the peace in relation to an incident in Glasgow Road, Edinburgh.
Most of those arrested are expected to be released on an undertaking to appear at court at a later date.
A spokesperson for Lothian and Borders Police said: ‘While the Force facilitates peaceful protest, public disorder, damage to property, or any other criminal acts will not be tolerated.
‘It is obvious that the activists changed their emphasis, and we had considerable resources in place to respond in a proportionate and responsible manner.
‘A significant amount of planning had been put in place for the Climate Camp so that the Force was prepared for every eventuality, and additional resources were sent to the RBS site today to support the policing operation there.
‘As is common practice in such operations, the assistance of neighbouring Forces was sought. We have in the past collaborated with Forces such as Strathclyde, Central Scotland Police and Northumbria on large scale events.’
Around 500 people had been staying at the camp. During today they have been moving from their campsite to the nearby RBS land where they unfurled a banner from a bridge over the A8. They also super glued themselves to each other and locked themselves with D locks onto buildings elsewhere in the city.
They did not gain access to any RBS premises and there have been no reports of injurie.
Lothian and Borders Police have arrested and charged a total of 18 people in connection with protest activity in Edinburgh since the Camp for Climate Change was established at RBS headquarters, Gogarburn, on Thursday (August 19).
The new Guardian beatblogger Michael MacLeod kicked off with a series of photos from the climate change camp. You can view them by clicking here.