• STV
  • MySTV

Orange Order in scathing attack over Glasgow marches ban

The organisation said it was a 'sad day for democracy' and claimed the move was an abuse of the law.

By Jenness Mitchell and Kevin Scott

The Orange Order has launched a scathing attack on Glasgow City Council and the police force following the ban of six marches.

The organisation said it was a "sad day for democracy" and claimed the move was an "abuse of the law".

It intends to join other protesters at a rally outside the City Chambers in George Square on Saturday morning.

Jim McHarg, the grand master of the Orange Lodge of Scotland, told STV News: "We are very disappointed in the stance that the council has made.

"Angry, upset, bewildered is probably the best terminology.

"We can't understand why a law-abiding organisation such as the Orange Order is being targeted in such a way by the Nationalist council.

"We are assuming that it is on the back of the previous two weekends and the problematic scenes by republicans on parade in the city of Glasgow."

Mr McHarg said the council had to take its "share of the blame" for allowing the parades to go ahead.

He added that it was supplemented by Police Scotland, who "obviously had intelligence".

Mr McHarg stated: "Whether they used it or chose to ignore it, I don't know."

He added: "I understand that the council has a duty to look after all the citizens in this city.

"They also have a duty to look after law-abiding organisation such as the Orange Order, which they have chosen not to on this occasion."

'This is your city. You should look after your streets, look after your property, be proud of what you are as a Glaswegian.'
Jim McHarg, the grand master of the Orange Lodge of Scotland

The grand master stressed the Orange Order had nothing to do with the recent troubles.

Mr McHarg stated: "We were not there. We were not part of any planned protest.

"We certainly did not ask any of our members to be there - which would be wrong.

"I would discourage anyone from causing any violence whatsoever in this city.

"For most of the people who were there, I would assume they were all Glaswegians.

"This is your city. You should look after your streets, look after your property, be proud of what you are as a Glaswegian.

"Do not cause trouble wherever you happen to be at any protest.

"Everybody's got the right to parade, everybody's got the right to protest. You should just respect the right of others."

On Wednesday, the council's Public Processions Committee unanimously voted to revoke the permits for six parades that were due to be held this weekend.

The committee's u-turn follows sectarian violence and disorder across the city during marches on August 30 and September 7.

It cited Police Scotland's concerns over the "high likelihood of public disorder with risk to public safety".

Riot: Officers were called to a large-scale disturbance in Govan.
Riot: Officers were called to a large-scale disturbance in Govan. Shelby May

A council spokesperson stated: "The city has already witnessed an unacceptable level of disruption and disorder associated with parades and counter-protests in recent weeks.

"It is clear, both from the intelligence gathered by police and the tone of comments made by supporters and protesters, that tensions are high and the situation threatens to deteriorate further.

"The council directly appeals to those who would have taken part in these marches, or who planned to mount protests against them, to comply with the orders made and not bring further disruption to city streets."

Bridgeton Protestant Boys Flute Band, Pride of the North Flute Band and Republican Network for Unity were due to march on Saturday along with two parades from Whiteinch Orange & Purple District Number 7.

Members of Partick Orange & Purple District 15 were scheduled to set off on Sunday.

First Minister: Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the city council's move.
First Minister: Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the city council's move. Nicola Sturgeon

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the move.

Speaking at First Minister's Questions on Thursday, she said: "I do think the city council has arrived at the right decision in not giving permission for the marches that were planned for this weekend.

"I believe that the right to march is an important part of our democracy but those who are abusing that right I think are 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."

She added: "So I think Glasgow City Council has taken the right decision.

"Obviously it takes those decisions in light of the advice it receives from the police.

"I think there are longer-term questions about whether there are changes required to the law and we will continue to have that dialogue with Glasgow City Council."

Last month, a full-scale riot broke out in the Elder Park area of Govan after an Irish unity march - led by the James Connolly Republican Flute Band - was met by hundreds of "disruptive" counter-demonstrators.

Riot police, mounted officers, a force helicopter and dog units were used to quell "significant disorder".

Two men - aged 37 and 21 - were arrested and charged with public disorder following the incident.

Last Saturday, more than 1000 people took part in two Irish republican marches as well as loyalist protests.

Officers charged 11 people, including a 14-year-old boy, with various offences ranging from sectarian singing to carrying an offensive weapon.

A policeman was also taken to hospital after being hit by a flare which was hurled by protesters.

Glasgow: Council leader Susan Aitken wants a long-term solution to the problem.
Glasgow: Council leader Susan Aitken wants a long-term solution to the problem. SWNS

On Thursday, the leader of the council stated 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 the recent disorder.

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1440696-glasgow-marches-scrapped-after-riot-and-sectarian-violence/ | default

Speaking at a council meeting, she said: "No councillor or council officer bears any responsibility for the sectarian behaviour that took place in Govan or at the weekend.

"The only people responsible are the ones who took part in the violence.

"We allowed these marches to continue following the advice from Police Scotland.

"We need to find a long-term solution to address these problems and I will be bringing forward a paper for the city administration committee to discuss soon.

"We need to pull together for the benefit of our city."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.