The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland has today written to Police Scotland demanding answers to the obvious growing collusion and discrimination within the City of Glasgow in dealing with Orange parades.
As reported in the Daily Record (24th October 2018), Police Scotland have confirmed that they are able to adequately police the Rangers v Spartak match at Ibrox on Thursday 25th October. Intelligence suggests that the visiting fans will include around 1,000 hardcore violent Ultras. Spartak Moscow’s notorious Ultras have only just been allowed to travel again by UEFA following a two-match ban imposed after the death of a policeman during clashes in Bilbao earlier this year. Police Scotland are not objecting to the match on safety grounds and have said that they are equipped and able to police those fans accordingly.
However, Police Scotland recently advised Glasgow City Council that they were objecting to an Orange parade in the city on safety grounds due to the high risks involved if the parade passed a Roman Catholic Church. That parade was just 50 people going to church for a Remembrance Service on the 100th anniversary of the Great War. It was also proposed to hold the walk at a time when the church was closed.
The Grand Master of the Orange Lodge in Scotland, Jim McHarg said,
“On a number of recent occasions, Police Scotland have objected to our parades on the grounds that they cannot guarantee public safety if an Orange Parade is anywhere near a catholic church. And yet days later they say they are well equipped as a force to manage 1,000 hardcore violent football thugs, with a history of disorder that lead to the recent death of a police officer.
“This just doesn’t add up. It seems to us that this is discrimination, purely on the grounds of religion. It is not for the Police to decide whether or not Orange parades are appropriate, or to collude with any other organisation or group to limit the rights of one group over another. The role of the Police in terms of parades is quite clear and was established through legislation, they are there to advise on and ultimately maintain public order and safety.
“This then begs the question, how can they safely Police 1,000 violent thugs, but not safely Police 50 people on their way to church for a Remembrance Service?
“We have written to Police Scotland for answers.”