Glasgow & West Scotland

Police officer injured at Republican marches in Glasgow

Republican march
Image caption A counter protest on the Broomielaw

A police officer was injured as two Republican marches were held in Glasgow.

Officers in riot gear and mounted police were deployed to the parades, one week after clashes between marchers and protesters in the Govan area.

There were counter demonstrations at both marches but they were quickly contained by police. Eleven people were charged for a variety of offences.

A "pyrotechnic" was thrown on Clyde Street which injured an officer.

One of Police Scotland's top officers described his disgust at the "recklessness" displayed.

Police said about 1,000 people took to the streets to either march or take part in counter protests.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, said: "The majority of those who took part in the processions listened to us and complied with our instructions.

'Recklessness and stupidity'

"I am, however, disgusted at the recklessness and stupidity of those who decided to throw pyrotechnics, one of which injured an officer.

"He was simply carrying out a duty which allows us to facilitate people's rights and ultimately we were here today to keep everybody safe."

Police said the officer was taken to hospital. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Charges against the 11 people arrested included a 33-year-old man accused of carrying an offensive weapon and a 15-year-old boy accused of possessing an offensive weapon. A 14-year-old boy was also among those arrested.

Others were charged with being drunk and disorderly, obstructing police, public order offences and sectarian breaches of the peace. They are expected to appear in court on Monday.

Image caption A major police operation was put in place

The first march - A Cairde Na Heireann (Calton Republicans) - started on Millroad Street in the east end at 14:00, finishing on Clyde Street.

The second event - the Friends of Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association parade - was due to start at Blythswood Square at 15:00 but was held up for an hour. It ended at Barrowland Park in the Gallowgate.

A heavy police presence was on hand to separate both sides. The majority of counter-protesters appeared to be held at King George V Bridge, next to the Riverboat Casino.

Fireworks, which appeared to have come from the counter-protesters, were set off, with police telling members of the public to move back from the area.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf praised the police operation and wished a fast recovery to the injured police officer.

He said: "I am very grateful to all of the officers and police staff involved in the robust policing operation around two processions in Glasgow this afternoon.

"I hope the officer injured as a result of a pyrotechnic thrown during the event will make a full and speedy recovery.

"This is a further reminder of how Scotland's police officers put themselves in harm's way to keep all of us safe."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption About 1,000 people were involved in the marches and the counter protests
Image caption Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf praised the "robust" policing operation

While recognising the right to hold processions and demonstrations as "central to our democratic society", Mr Yousaf added: "It is important that we do not lose sight of the collective need for action to achieve a zero-tolerance approach towards sectarianism and offensive behaviour.

"Scotland's communities also have a right to feel safe and to be protected from disorder and thuggery."

Glasgow City Council allowed the processions to go ahead a week after a march through Govan was marred by sectarian violence.

But there is a series of further marches planned.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "We want to thank the police for everything they did to ensure that trouble was kept to a minimum yesterday.

"But with 14 processions coming up this month alone, we know this kind of march continues to disrupt Glasgow's communities and impact on policing outside the city.

"We will be very carefully considering that community impact when we receive notifications of processions in future."

Council bosses had previously threatened to take action against marches to protect the public.

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