Food activists occupy Palace of Holyroodhouse dining room

Activists have occupied the royal dining room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh as part of an ongoing campaign to slash food prices.

Nine campaigners from This Is Rigged entered the palace at about 1.15pm on Monday carrying banners with slogans including “Is treasa tuath na tighearna”, which is Gaelic for “The people are mightier than a lord”, and “change begins in the kitchen, not the boardroom”.

They crossed the barrier and sat down at the table, and began eating food out of Tupperware and drinking tea out of flasks they brought along.

According to the group, the activists remain in place and the wing of the palace has been temporarily closed to the public.

This is Rigged is calling on supermarkets to slash prices of baby formula to March 2021 prices and demanding the Scottish Government fully fund and implement a community food hub per every 500 households in Scotland.

Activists ate from Tupperware and flasks in the royal dining room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Monday (This Is Rigged/PA)

“As the many crises that we are facing are continuing to worsen, it becomes more apparent that those with power are not coming to help, that profit once again reigns higher than people.

“This is in our hands … we need to speak up and take up space because it is our future.”

The campaigners have warned they will reclaim spaces themselves if spaces are not provided for people to get healthy nutritious meals.

They claim that one in four Scots have experienced food insecurity while 1,000 children per year are taken to hospital with malnutrition.

They criticised supermarkets’ actions in increasing prices as an “act of corporate violence”.

“It’s time we make space around the table for people, and invest in communities, in a food system that is equal and just, that doesn’t let individuals profit from collective struggle.

Sorcha Ni Mhairtin, 30, a community food worker from Ireland and based in Glasgow, said: “Access to good food is a human right.

“The cost of food has risen dramatically, meaning many in Scotland face huge challenges in accessing appropriate food.

“I want the Government to take notice and to better-fund social infrastructures that support people to access food in a dignified manner.”

The Palace of Holyroodhouse has been contacted for comment.

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