Pro-independence supporters to march in Edinburgh

Tommy Sheridan's bid for George Square rally denied. Picture: John Devlin
Tommy Sheridan's bid for George Square rally denied. Picture: John Devlin
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Plans for a pro-independence rally through Edinburgh to mark the first anniversary of the referendum are expected to be given the go-ahead by the city council later this week.

Tomorrow councillors are expected to approve the Yes 2 Scotland event, which will see a march along King’s Stables Road, the Grassmarket and to the Scottish Parliament.

If granted permission by Edinburgh City Council’s licensing sub-committee, the event will take place a week tomorrow, 18 September, exactly one year after Scotland voted by 55 per cent to 45 per cent to stay within the United Kingdom.

The Edinburgh rally looks likely to be given the green light, despite a pro-independence event organised by supporters of former MSP Tommy Sheridan in Glasgow being banned amid police fears of clashes and disorder.

Glasgow City Council has taken the decision to deny Hope Over Fear permission for a rally in the city’s George Square after a pro-Union group made a rival bid. The authority said it had received advice from Police Scotland that two events clashing could spark public order issues.

Last month the council said it had declined both applications. The absence of a rival event in Edinburgh means that the march through the capital is likely to get the green light.

A report to the licensing sub-committee states: “The council has limited powers available regarding the control of such events. These powers should only be exercised to prevent public disorder, risk to public safety, damage to property, or excessive disruption to the life of the community.”