Glasgow City Council Prohibit RNU Commemoration
Following the decision by Glasgow City Council in conjunction with Police Scotland to prohibit our procession under the terms of section 63 of the Civic Government Act (Scotland) 1982, Republican Network for Unity issue the following statement:
On Wednesday, 11th September, the Republican Network for Unity in Scotland were invited to attend an emergency public processions committee meeting. We were only notified 1 hour and 45 minutes in advance. The meeting was convened to discuss six public processions that were due to take place on Saturday, 14th, and Sunday, 15th September.
As the meeting convened, it was evident from the outset that Police Scotland, the Director of Governance and Solicitor to the Council had advanced notice of this meeting. This became evident as these bodies were able to provide in-depth reports which were specific to each organisation’s applications.
Republican Network for Unity in Scotland firmly believes that the decision to prohibit all parades on that weekend had already been made before this emergency meeting. We firmly believe this was nothing more than a box-ticking exercise and a media stunt to make sure that all legalities were followed.
Parades that had taken place weeks earlier were met with counter-demonstrations. It has been suggested that these same counterprotesters turned their attention to our commemoration and had already started a public and social media campaign to assemble at a prearranged meeting point on our route.
Republican Network for Unity in Scotland demands to know if the decision taken was solely on the information on social media?
The onus is now on Glasgow City Council to clarify their position, in particular, if this is a precedent for banning all future Irish Republican parades.
No substantial information had been received to suggest any form of counter-demonstration was being organised against the other processions, and when questioned on this, Police Scotland could only make assumptions with no factual or substantial evidence.
We also wonder if the same protocol is adopted on Remembrance Sunday and the 12th of July to other people who also gather to remember their fallen comrades who also were combatants in war.
For many years Irish Republicans from both sides of the Irish sea have gathered to remember our fallen comrades proudly and peacefully. This year’s parade was of significant importance to the Republican Network for Unity in Scotland as we had lost two of our members and had planned to remember them both at our parade.
The Republican Network for Unity strongly condemns the decision to prohibit our democratic right to remember our fallen comrades in a dignified manner.