Glasgow independence march organiser admits charge

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independence march
Image caption,
Marchers made their way through Glasgow city centre

One of the organisers of a pro-independence march in Glasgow has admitted failing to comply with conditions imposed on the procession.

Glasgow City Council wanted the All Under One Banner event in May last year to start at 11:00 in order to ease congestion in the city centre.

But organiser Mandeep Singh started the rally at 13:30 to accommodate marchers travelling from all over Scotland.

The day after the march Singh was arrested.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Singh admitted holding a procession otherwise than in accordance with a condition imposed in relation to the procession.

The court heard that council officials told Singh his route and start time of 13:30 couldn't be accommodated due to "congestion and the recovery process after the march."

The council recommended an 11:00 start time.

Disagreement over start time

Prosecutor John Bedford said: "Singh refused the recommendation put forward and stated he would perhaps bring it to 13:00.

"He wasn't prepared to accept the significant time change."

Singh stated the time was set to accommodate people from across Scotland travelling to the march.

The group had also given out the start time on social media to its supporters.

Image caption,
Last May's march, which ended with a rally at Glasgow Green, was part of a series of pro-independence marches held across Scotland

Glasgow Sheriff Court also heard Singh was told to submit a temporary order to close the roads the group wished to march along.

Mr Bedford said: "Singh never paid for the order and it wasn't put in place."

Lawyer Bob McCormack, defending Singh, told the court that having the march earlier that 13:30 was "not possible" due to attendees coming from further afield.

He said: "Singh discussed the route and police manned that route.

"This wasn't the route in writing but it was the route agreed by him and the police."

Mr McCormack added that Singh, 40, could lose his job as a taxi driver as a result of the conviction.

He requested an absolute discharge for his client from Sheriff Paul Brown, who deferred sentencing until next month.