Glasgow’s Orange Parade to take place in two Catholic churches


Protests will take place outside two Catholic churches in Saturday’s orange parades as a campaign group criticizes the council for its response to the marches.

Call It Out, a group that campaigns “against anti-Irish racism and anti-Catholic bigotry,” said it wrote to the council to express concerns about the marches passing through sites where unrest erupted in 2019.

They say the council ‘ignored’ police advice to reroute the marches to avoid passing churches – a claim that the Scottish council and police have insisted is not true.

Activists now plan to hold “peaceful protests” outside St Benedict’s RC Church, Easterhouse at 8:15 am and Blessed John Duns Scotus RC Church, The Gorbals at 2:00 pm.

A meeting of the council’s public processions committee, which hijacked the steps in 2019, was not called to discuss current events, and a spokesperson said it was because no police information was given. ‘had been received, which would have motivated the holding of a.

Call It Out has since released what they say are details of communications with Police Scotland and the council that highlight their concerns.

This includes a letter they claim they sent to the council’s public procession officer earlier this month, asking that the steps past Catholic churches be altered to avoid any incident.

The letter says the campaign group “is not calling for a blanket ban” on processions, but is calling for changes to the routes of the marches past St Benedict’s RC Church on Westerhouse Road and Blessed John Duns Scotus RC Church on Ballater Street.

Call It Out claims that a police liaison officer told them that the police “objected” to both marches, but the council decided instead to speak to the organizers of the procession about the conduct of the participants.

The organization released an alleged email from Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland, stating that the liaison officer had “discussed what was captured during the debriefing following the 2019 processions,” which is “very different from Police Scotland providing formal advice to GCC on existing information and intelligence “.

“Following such notification, the GCC would then consider a procession committee which could lead to a rerouting or other committee decision.”

The group says the communications show that the council “has received advice / recommendations”, with texts they say were sent by the liaison officer, indicating that information had been shared with council officials.

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A council spokesperson said: “We work closely with the police before and after the processions.

“We did not receive any recommendations to reroute the processions this weekend, either as part of the statutory consultation process or as part of the reporting of a corresponding event in 2019.”

Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland, Division Commander for Greater Glasgow, called on those attending the processions to “do so in a safe, responsible and respectful manner”.

He said: “We urge the vast majority who behave in the right way and know that there is no room for bad behavior or hatred, to influence those around you to remember the day. for the right reasons and is proceeding peacefully. “

Superintendent Sutherland added that the policing operation will focus on public safety and reduction of disruption, but will “not tolerate offensive behavior, including hate crimes, drunkenness and disorder and that such behavior will be addressed. quickly and proportionately.

“When that is not possible during the event, we will launch follow-up surveys if necessary. “

Police will work with protest groups to “make sure their rights are protected,” he said.

Grandmaster Jim McHarg of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said he “looks forward to a peaceful and successful parade”.

“We look forward to the pageantry, the color and the music and welcome the supporters of the Loyal Orange Institution who come forward to watch and enjoy the show.

“Our message to everyone is to stay safe and enjoy your day. “

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