A couple of hundred protesters gathered outside of the BBC headquarters in Glasgow on Saturday afternoon to protest against what they describe as “BBC bias”.
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The rally at Pacific Quay saw demonstrators call out the BBC for not representing the “voices of the people of Scotland”.
Hundreds of people waved Wings Over Scotland flags, Saltires and anti-BBC banners and listened to speakers such as ex-employees of the broadcasting firm, bloggers such as Peter Bell and organisers of the protest including David McGuinness, who spoke about the “constant negativity of the BBC”.
One speaker stated: “[In the future] the BBC will be as extinct as the dinosaurs, while wee boys may run around saying ‘I wish there were still dinosaurs’, there will be nobody, in a future independent Scotland, saying ‘I wish there was still BBC Scotland news.’”
Last month, the BBC denied it had asked YouTube to shut down two pro-independence accounts on the video uploading giant’s website in a row over copyright, with Stuart Campbell, who runs the Wings over Scotland website, claiming that the BBC had “gone on a crusade against pro-independence sites” by “suddenly launching mass takedown demands”.
The move provoked anger from Scottish independence supporters.
In a report on the demonstration by the BBC, a spokesman for the broadcaster said: “We offered the leaders of the protest the opportunity to come in to the building to enter into dialogue with senior managers at BBC Scotland but they declined the offer.”
Reacting to the events on Twitter, Labour councillor for Linn Ward on Glasgow City Council, Malcolm Cunning posted: “Absolutely typical, a small cabal of fringe nationalists protest outside the BBC here in Glasgow claiming that ‘BBC Scotland does not speak to the people,’ and then refuse an offer to meet with senior BBC managers to discuss their complaints.”
One of the organisers of the demo, David Milligan, also responded to the report by the BBC tweeting: “I was the person asked and I declined. We don’t want to enter into a dialogue with the BBC to try to repair things.... Do any of you see any buttons up the back of my head? No! We want to see the end of the BBC in Scotland. I hope I made that clear.”
Twitter user @WilfJames added his support, posting: “I was working today but stand with the people protesting at Pacific quay today. The BBC has been running labour and conservative press releases as news for to long. Scrutiny has gone. Journalism is dead if it continues.”