Covid Scotland: Police called to anti-lockdown protest in Glasgow city centre

Police were called to manage an “unplanned” anti-lockdown demonstration in Scotland’s largest city on Saturday.

The event mainly focused on protesting against the vaccine pass scheme in place across the UK.

In order to attend some events and venues in Scotland, people are required to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test or their vaccine passport – the latter being a record of how many jags they have received to prove they have been fully vaccinated.

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The protest is believed to have been organised by Scotland Against Lockdown, a group that runs campaigns against mandatory facemasks, the Scottish and UK governments’ Coronavirus Act 2020, social distancing and mandatory vaccines, according to its social media pages.

Protesters gathered at Glasgow Green at 1pm and, according to police, began an unplanned procession through the city centre.

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Crowds of activists marched down Argyle Street during what the campaign group called a “Freedom Rally”.

Some of them were pictured carrying placards saying “Do you trust your government with your life?” and “vaccine passports mean your body will be owned by the state forever”.

People take part in the "Freedom Rally" an anti-vaccine demonstration organised by the campaign group 'Scotland Against Lockdown' in Glasgow city centre. (Picture credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

One witness said about 1,000 people were taking part.

A police spokesman said: “Officers facilitated an unplanned procession in Glasgow City centre to ensure public safety and minimise disruption to the community.”

Speaking about the demonstration on Saturday, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Covid-19 vaccinations are entirely voluntary in Scotland, and those for children will only take place with the appropriate consent.

“Getting vaccinated saves lives and helps protect the NHS by making it much less likely that people will need hospital treatment if they do get Covid.

People take part in the "Freedom Rally" an anti-vaccine demonstration organised by the campaign group 'Scotland Against Lockdown' in Glasgow city centre. (Picture credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

“Deliberately spreading misinformation about the vaccine is irresponsible and reckless, and anyone doing so should be ignored.”

As of Saturday, a total of 4,390,076 people had received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, 4,041,550 had had a second dose, and 3,082,231 had received a booster.

Professor of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, Linda Bauld, said that there are no plans currently to offer a fourth dose as the latest evidence suggests the booster is providing strong protection against the virus for now.

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People take part in the "Freedom Rally" an anti-vaccine demonstration organised by the campaign group 'Scotland Against Lockdown' in Glasgow city centre. (Photo credit: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

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