I Predict a Riot

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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.

UAF Scotland

Greater Glasgow HOPE not hate
c/o UNISON Scotland, 14 West Campbell Street, GlasgowG2 6RX
glasgow@hopenothate.org.uk

Edinburgh Hope Not Hate
edinburgh@hopenothate.org.uk

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  1. Perfidy Prober says:

    Are they part of Project Fear?

    1. Murray McCallum says:

      They seem to be some seriously mixed up (identity crisis) dudes.
      To be fair the SDL, and like-minded supporters of better together, appear to be openly displaying their “positive case for the Union”. The SDL represent a British nationalist, right wing, militaristic, and xenophobic view of the World.
      It’s great that people can witness this display as part of making their minds up as to what kind of future Scotland they want.

  2. D Steele says:

    I’m surprised that they’ve been given permission to have this demonstration. It’s not going to look very good on us though considering all the tourists/visitors that will be in Edinburgh that day enjoying the Festival.

  3. This should not come as a surprise. Consider that there is a Great Game afoot, with the stakes incredibly high. The eyes of the World are upon us. Not more so than they will be next year. There are many positive things about to happen and this does not bode well for the negative NO campaign. Headlines of Riots in Edinburgh would be a massive boon for their campaign, Do not allow it to happen, at all costs. Regardless of the level of incitement and provocation. Supposing they smash windows and wreck the City. Show them no greater reaction that derision. They grow desperate for a credible chance at showing the Yes campaign in a negative light.

  4. Barontorc says:

    I honestly do not understand the thinking of people who will allow such extreme demonstrations to take place during an internationally respected festival occasion. This overt provocation, is intended to alienate and likely cause unrest for residents and visitors alike.

    Not only will the place be loaded with foreigners who have come for the culture, but the police profile will be much higher in case bampots lose the plot and mayhem ensues.

  5. The festival is only outsold (in tickets) world-wide by the Olympics and the World Cup football and the Edinburgh council want to allow this to be an advertisement for our capital city and our country.What type of council would allow this? does the council have a political agenda here? or do they want to destroy Scotland’s reputation?

    1. Albalha says:

      Very odd indeed. If you look at this STV video, below, of an SDL march at Holyrood, after the death of L Rigby I would have thought the police in Edinburgh could easily object on public disorder grounds, not to mention the nature of their banners. Aberdeen also refused earlier this year. And also re Glasgow politicians from all parties have petitioned against them marching.

      So what is going on in Edinburgh?

      http://news.stv.tv/east-central/227711-scottish-defence-league-holds-rally-over-death-of-soldier-lee-rigby/

  6. This sucks. We can say all kinds of righteous things and swear to stop them, and that is where we would be wrong. Like the right everywhere they want a rammy and it is important that they don’t get one. I don’t think that we even get out the mime artists. All we can hope is that they are ignored. By being there with their protecting police they will disrupt events along the High St which will annoy the leiges, which is quite good enough. ANything else is playing into their hands for remember that they are part of the Project Fear, and they would no doubt welcome civil disturbances in the run up to the Referndum

  7. James Sneddon says:

    It’s the festival so they will be viewed by most visitors as some kind of street theater I imagine. Regardless I hope it pishes down

  8. pfburke says:

    @D Steele, “I’m surprised that they’ve been given permission to have this demonstration.”
    So am I, especially considering the way the extreme right wing Scottish Government is going. After all, they are expressing their opinion. Shock shit horror, how dare they! Next they’ll be allowing the unions to do it!

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