City centre clash as anti-fascists target SDL demo

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DEMONSTRATORS from the far-right Scottish Defence League were confronted by anti-fascist groups, trade unionists and religious groups in Glasgow yesterday.

About 200 police officers were on hand for the unauthorised demonstration at St Enoch Square. The SDL had applied to Glasgow City Council to hold a parade, but its application was withdrawn after four of Scotland’s party leaders urged councillors not to allow the march to go ahead.

SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon, Labour’s Johann Lamont, the Tories’ Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie from the Lib Dems said the march would bring “vile, toxic hate”.

The SDL held a “static demonstration” instead and about 75 protesters turned up yesterday. A 150-strong counter-demonstration by anti-fascist groups, unions and political parties took place in nearby George Square, although some broke away to challenge the SDL supporters.

Green MSP Patrick Harviesaid the actions of the anti-fascist groups was “very assertive but peaceful”.

Strathclyde Police said there were no arrests.