Glasgow City Council looks at ‘breathing space’ ban on marches

The leader of Glasgow City Council has instructed her teams to see if placing a temporary ban on all loyalist and republican marches "would be workable".

Susan Aitken said it would provide "breathing space" to find a long-term solution following recent disorder.

Four Loyalist marches and an Irish Republican parade planned for this weekend were banned by the council after a meeting on Wednesday.

But more marches are scheduled for the coming weeks.

The council's Public Processions Committee made the decision to prohibit the marches planned for Saturday and Sunday following serious sectarian disorder at similar events over the past two weekends.

The police had warned there was a strong likelihood of disorder and a large number of officers would be required.

Supt John McBride said there had been calls on social media from Republicans to target Loyalist events and demands from Loyalists to protest against Republican parades.

At a council meeting on Thursday, leader Ms Aitken said: "Community tensions are running high and more processions are planned for the weeks to come.

"[So} I have asked officers to consider every option available to us, including whether a moratorium on such marches in the interests of public safety would be workable and provide all stake holders with the breathing space needed to find a longer term solution."

At First Minister Questions at Holyrood, Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs the city council had made the "right decision" in banning the marches this weekend.

She added that the right to march was "an important part of our democracy" but those who were abusing it were putting it into jeopardy for others.

"It is also vital that the rights of the majority of law-abiding citizens are protected and given priority," Ms Sturgeon said.

However, the Orange Order hit out at the decision.

Jim McHarg, Grand Master of the Orange Lodge, said the move was "illegal" and called for protests outside the City Chambers on Saturday.

Planned Loyalist and Republican marches

Saturday 14

Pride of the North Flute Band – 60 expected participants – prohibited

Bridgeton Protestant Boys Flute Band – 300 participants – prohibited

Republican Network for Unity – 150 participants – prohibited

Whiteinch Orange and Purple District 7 – 120 participants – prohibited

Sunday 15

Partick Orange and Purple District 15 – 60 participants – prohibited

Saturday 21

Independent Loyal Orange Order – starts 10:00 – 50 participants expected

Pride of Govan Flute Band – starts 10:00 – 800 participants

Drumchapel Orange and Purple District 57 – starts 11:00 – 120 participants

Springburn Campsie Apprentice Boys of Derry – starts 12:00 – 60 participants

West of Scotland Band Alliance – starts 12.30 – 200 participants

Friday 27

Govan Somme Association – starts 18:15 – 100 participants

Saturday 5 October

Orange and Purple District No12 LLOL1 – starts 15:00 – 110 participants

Saturday 12 October

Bridgeton No Surrender Flute Band – starts 13:00 – 350 participants

Royal Black Preceptory 672 – starts 10.25 – 50 participants

Sectarian disturbances

The council decided to prohibit the marches after violent sectarian disturbances on the two previous weekends.

On Saturday, a police officer was injured as two Irish Republican marches and Loyalist counter-demonstrations were held in Glasgow.

The counter demonstrations at both marches were quickly contained by police, whoRead More – Source

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