GUEST POST by Robin Gardener

In the wee hours of 19 July, members of the campaign group This is Rigged scaled an oil tanker at Scotland’s largest oil and gas refinery, and revealed flags with the group’s name abbreviated to TIR, the Gaelic for ‘dry land’.

Others sat in front of the gates of the terminal, so that within minutes the INEOS Grangemouth site was brought to a standstill. The group are demanding Scotland “Choose change” by committing to oppose all new oil and gas projects and funding a just transition for the country’s oil and gas workers.

On social media the group posted videos of other activists occupying infrastructure at Nustar Terminal in Clydebank. This is Rigged has vowed to “shut down the oil industry” until its demands are met, and both blockades were still going strong after more than 24 hours this morning.

Grangemouth oil refinery has capacity to process over 10 million tonnes of crude oil each year, yet almost 40% of Scots live in fuel poverty, according to Citizens Advice Scotland.

From the hills overlooking the refinery, one can see the group’s vision: wind farms stretch into the distance on all sides.

Whether protests can cause enough material disruption to force the hand of the government in Holyrood remains to be seen.


Photos and report ©2023 Robin Gardener

Robin Gardener is a documentary photographer based in Brighton, UK. He has most recently covered a year in the radical flank of the climate movement in the photo-book Into the Gears of the Machine available at