One of the organisers of what was billed as the “biggest ever” Scottish independence march has been charged by police after allegedly failing to meet conditions set down by the local authorities for the event.
Manny Singh, of the All Under One Banner (AUOB) group, refused to bring forward the start time for last Saturday’s march from 1.30pm to 11.30am, despite a formal request from a Glasgow City Council committee based on reccomendations from the emergency services.
Council officials placed conditions on the march, altering its start time and route, due to serious concerns regarding public safety and disruption to the wider community.
Singh, described as operations director for AUOB, argued that an earlier start time would disrupt prior travel plans made by those hoping to attend.
He claimed to have “reassured” Police Scotland at a meeting last week week that organisers could halt the march if emergency services required access in case of an incident.
Singh was charged today under Section 65 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, which states that anyone convicted of holding a procession that does not comply with the relevant council order.
“We told the police and the council a year ago what time we would start. We had people coming from far and near and we just couldn’t change the start time at the last minute,” he told the paper.
“I will be defending this charge to the fullest, and will cite the freedom of assembly section of the European Convention of Human Rights.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman told The Scotsman: “Police Scotland can confirm that a 39-year-old man will be the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal for failing to comply with conditions imposed on a procession.”