One man was arrested after a group of protesters clashed with police yesterday following an anti-racism demo in Glasgow’s George Square which saw hundreds gather despite official warnings to stay away.
The man was arrested after a group including people identified by police as “football risk supporters” turned up at the protest.
Organisers of Glasgow Says No to Racism said the event was aimed at “sending a positive anti-racist message from Glasgow’s George Square to the world on World Refugee Day”.
Police vans lined the square with more than 100 officers in attendance including riot police and mounted officers.
However, arrivals on Saturday included members of the Green Brigade, linked to Celtic ultras, supporting the anti-racism rally.
Police horses and riot officers were used to control their arrival in the square and when the event ended at around noon, they were kettled before being moved through the city, controlled by police horses and scores of officers.
As they reached the Gallowgate in the east end, a 42-year-old man was arrested for obstructing police.
Chief Superintendent Alan Murray said: “Significant police resources were deployed at George Square to prevent the disgraceful scenes of violence and disorder witnessed in recent days.
“Those who turned up to protest were facilitated with an appropriate policing response and I would like to thank all officers involved for their professionalism in preventing trouble and maintaining public safety.”
He added: “Acting on information, at the end of protest around midday, officers contained a large group of people, including individuals identified as football risk supporters, who we believed posed a threat to public safety both within George Square and at other locations.
“We engaged with this group and, at their request, escorted them to the Gallowgate area of the city where they dispersed.
“As part of our response, Police Scotland also imposed an order under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
“This allows police to search any individual or vehicle within the Greater Glasgow area and covers the city to help maintain public safety in all areas.
“Our robust response will continue across the country and anyone intent on causing violence and disorder should expect arrest.”
Meanwhile, a 62-year-old man was also arrested in Edinburgh for threatening and abusive behaviour.
A Justice For Slaves protest had been organised by Black Lives Matter Scotland at the statue of Henry Dundas in St Andrew Square.
Supporters of the Glasgow event – attended by more than 500 people – included Stand Up To Racism, Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, Positive Action in Housing, Afghan Human Rights Foundation and unions.
Those attending were asked to stick to social distancing guidelines by following markings on the square and also asked to wear masks.
A small number of loyalists and members of a far-right group gathered at the square’s war memorial during the rally as lines of riot police separated the two.
At the start of the rally, the crowd took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Later, names of people who died in police custody were read out and attendees chanted “no justice, no peace, no racist police”.
Speakers, including author Irvine Welsh said they “didn’t come here for a fight” and spoke of securing greater rights for refugees and asylum seekers.
They added “no-one welcomes” the far-right group and called on police to “do their job”.
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