You’ll recall our previous articles where we called in to question the decision by Glasgow City Council to effectively ban parades from select streets in Glasgow through the creation of their religious ‘no-go zones’.
We raised concerns over the role of Police Scotland in this new sectarian practice. The list of parades that have now had their original routes changed due to supposed ‘police safety concerns’ continues to grow.
Immediately after the first orange parade was effectively banned due to these ‘police safety concerns’, we called out the police, and questioned the credibility of these concerns.
However, the Police continued to stick to their guns, citing ‘intelligence’ that a group calling themselves ‘Call it Out’ were planning significant protests. This has now led to numerous parades being banned or rerouted as they use this same tactic.
As a reminder, this is what the Police said in a report to Glasgow City Council,
“This parade causes a serious concern for the police in terms of public order and disruption to the life of the community. This is because it can be reasonably expected that there will be a significant protest to the parade should it occur. Indeed, Police Scotland is in receipt of intelligence which indicates such a protest is planned in the event that the parade goes ahead along its preferred route. Taking this into account, together with other considerations such as community tension, and the timing of the parade, in my professional judgement the risk is such that this parade should not pass St Alphonsus Church as part of its proposed route on 25 August.
“It is my view that the resources which would be required to police the parade would be disproportionate to the numbers involved in the parade. “
The report from Glasgow City Council also noted further written Police evidence,
“it is also the opinion that, it would carry a clear potential for disorder and violence, and would have very significant resource implications for Police Scotland. A significant policing operation, including specialist Public Order officers would be required to police this Procession. This would be in addition to the other daily pressures on Police resources, that day.”
Quite compelling, hard hitting stuff from Police Scotland. The ‘public order officers’ mentioned are officers who have undergone specialist tactical training in public order and riot control. Such is the perceived threat of disorder according to Police Scotland intelligence.
However, at a parade held a few weeks ago on Sunday, the same ‘Call it Out’ group that was causing the police such angst turned up and made their protest. Remarkably however, the armageddon that the Police said this would cause was nowhere to be seen. Neither were the ‘pubic order officers’. Why was this?
As the photo below (taken from The Sun newspaper) shows, the ‘Call it Out’ protest was actually six women staging a silent protest. This just doesn’t tie up at all to the police intelligence of a significant protest that would need riot police in attendance. All these parades rerouted for a small, well mannered group of women who are exercising their right to protest. A right we would support.
As we have said before, something else seems to be going on here.
The Police seem to be working hand in hand with others, including Glasgow City Council to use bogus and inflated intelligence to discriminate against the Orange Order. Was there any Police intelligence at all? If there was, did they look into this? If they did, then their methods have clearly failed as their ‘intelligence’ was way off the mark. A cynic would say that perhaps the claim of ‘police intelligence’ is simply a tool being used to discriminate against us.
And finally, whilst we’re told we aren’t allowed to peacefully walk down a street that has a Roman Catholic Church in it, even when the church is closed, a protest group who wants to physically challenge us is given permission to come stand in the same street next to us?
The sectarian divide in Glasgow is once again rearing its ugly head – fuelled by the SNP-led Glasgow City Council, and disappointingly, aided and abetted by Police Scotland.