Clashes break out on Bloody Sunday march
SCUFFLES broke out yesterday during a Republican march through the centre of Glasgow.
Hundreds took to the streets to take part in a parade to commemorate the events of Bloody Sunday.
But as marchers entered the city's George Square, they were confronted by several hundred Unionists.
Unionists - some with Union Jacks and placards saying IRA murderers off our streets - chanted, gesticulated and sang songs such as Rule Britannia as the marchers, who were flanked by police officers - including some on horseback - went past.
Missiles such as cans and bottles were lobbed at the marchers as they made their way along George Street.
Strathclyde Police Assistant Chief Constable Kevin Smith said there were 11 arrests for offences including breach of the peace, assault and possession of a knife.
And he added officers would now begin studying CCTV footage from the march to see if there was evidence for any more arrests.
Smith said there was racist and sectarian abuse at the event and that if it was not for the large police presence there would have been more trouble.
In the run-up to the parade, groups of protesters gathered throughout Glasgow city centre.
And the senior police officer said: "Eventually around 400 protesters met the march as it reached George Square and at this stage a large number of officers were deployed to contain them.
"The officers dealt with incidents such as missile-throwing, although luckily there have been no reported injuries."
He said: "Unfortunately the start of the march was delayed by almost 30 minutes as, contrary to permission conditions, there were groups dressed in paramilitary-style clothing. There were problems with aspects of the organisation of the parade that we will now take forward with the organisers and Glasgow City Council."
Jim Slaven of the event's organisers Cairde na hEireann (Friends of Ireland) said they were pleased with how it had gone.
He said: "From our perceptive the march went very well, all the people participating did so with dignity and respect and also took part peacefully.
"We can not comment on the actions of the counter-demonstrators."
He added: "There was a massive turn out. We had about 3,000 people there last year and I think there were more this year. We had some people from Ireland and England present, but most of those taking part in the march were from Scotland.
"And after it finished everybody dispersed peacefully."
Last year, shoppers in the city centre had been forced to take cover after a group of about 300 people tried to ambush the parade near to Glasgow's Queen Street train station.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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