Glasgow violence: here’s what happened in George Square between Loyalist Defence League and No Evictions Group

Nicola Sturgeon condemned the actions of far-right protestors as “racist thuggery”
Far-right followers interrupted what was meant to be a peaceful protestFar-right followers interrupted what was meant to be a peaceful protest
Far-right followers interrupted what was meant to be a peaceful protest

Far-right protestors targeted a protest over the living conditions of refugees in Glasgow last night.

National Defence League members interrupted the No Evictions Glasgow protest on Wednesday night, claiming that they wanted to “make a stand” and “protect the Cenotaph”.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described scenes in Glasgow as “disgraceful labelling the actions of National Defence League protestors as “racist thuggery”.

What happened in Glasgow on Wednesday night?

No Evictions Glasgow were due to protest over living conditions of refugees at 6pm and were warned by police an hour beforehand that far-right groups were holding a counter-protest. Red Cross were among those who supported the No Evictions Glasgow protest.

National Defence League supporters disrupted the peaceful protest, clashing with police. Six men have been arrested for minor public order offences.

No Evictions Glasgow supporters chanted “refugees welcome here” before dispersing.

Social media footage of incidents appeared to show National Defence League members shouting “Rule Britannia” and “f*nian b*stard” at bystanders.

Police sealed off the area to traffic while the groups were there and the campaigners had to cut short their rally in George Square as it was deemed "unsafe".

How have politicians responded?

Nicola Sturgeon took to Twitter to condemn the actions of the far-right group.

She said: “Disgraceful scenes in Glasgow tonight. Racist thugs shame Scotland. If they break the law, they should face the full force of it. And all of us should unite to say that welcoming refugees and asylum seekers is part of who we are.”

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Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw tweeted: “Shocked to see the scenes earlier tonight in Glasgow. Neither racism nor bigotry have any place in the Scotland in which we all aspire to live.”

Humza Yousuf also condemned the scenes, saying: "Let's not mince our words, this has nothing to do with statues and everything to do with racist thuggery," he said.

"Police have made a number of arrests already and will continue to take all necessary action against those responsible."

Who are the National Defence League?

The National Defence League appear to be an offshoot of the Scottish Defence League.

According to Hope Not Hate, “the Defence League network is a network of offshoots of the English Defence League (EDL), launched post-2009 to form an international Defence League movement in opposition to the perceived ‘Islamisation’ of Europe and the wider world.”

The Scottish Defence League held demonstrations across Scotland between 2009 and 2013. More recently they held a protest in 2017 in Alloa against refugee housing.

Who are No Evictions?

‘No Evictions’ is a campaign formed to fight the evictions of people living in asylum accommodation

On their official website they say: “We condemn this callous and uncaring move, forcing hundreds of displaced people into an untenable position where they will be at risk of homelessness and destitution.”