I Predict a Riot
News that ‘FAR right campaigners from the Scottish Defence League will be allowed to march through Edinburgh at the height of the Festival next month’ according to the Scotsman does not bode well for cultural expression in the Festival City.
While some have argued that these marches do little but expose and embarrass the “Scottish” Defence League who regularly appear in numbers struggling to make double-digits, you could well ask yourself what the point is?
Councillor Joanna Mowat, who represents the city centre, said that she did not object to the march in principle, but that the route chosen was questionable.
“My view is, however objectionable they are, they are not an illegal group and it is easier to police them if you know where they are going to be”. This seems reasonable but the position is in stark contrast to the view taken over in Glasgow where the Police have issued statements opposing a proposed demo this Saturday.
A spokesman from Police Scotland has said: “In recent months, local activity by the SDL has caused the deployment of significant policing resources to prevent and deal with serious public disorder. Many of these events have resulted in such counter demonstrations and there is a significant likelihood that, were it approved, this event would provoke a similar response. It is the view of Police Scotland that a procession presents increased policing challenges to ensure the safety of people and property and maintain community peace.”
Given that this is the case and the SDL are the same handful of people operating in either city, why on earth has permission been given for them to walk down the High Street in the middle of the festival?
The only “¡No pasarán!” response I can think of is that – if this goes ahead – these people should be mobbed by mime artists as Marcel Marceau, confronted by sword swallowers, chased by unicyclists and engulfed by amateur thespians punting their fringe shows.
Greater Glasgow HOPE not hate
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Edinburgh Hope Not Hate