The organisers of a major Scottis independence march, dubbed 'the biggest independence rally yet' face a crisis after being denied access to Holyrood Park in Edinburgh to stage their event.
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) refused go grant the group the use of Holyrood Park, meaning organisers face a last minute hunt for a suitable venue.
The non-departmental public body which manages the park informed All Under One Banner that the rally segment of the event could not take place in Holyrood Park due to the fact that it would be political in nature.
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Following the decision, organisers are appealing for a change of heart on safety grounds as the route from Edinburgh castle to Holyrood has already been agreed by Police Scotland and Edinburgh Council.
According to organisers, around 35,000 people are expected to turn up to the event on Saturday, October 6, with no other venue nearby that could hold so many people.
All Under One Banner have urged their Facebook followers to protest against the decision of HES stating that the refusal to be given access to the venue discriminates against the group, with organisers stating that the recent Processions rally was “political in nature”.
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Organiser, Gary Kelly of the All Under One Banner group, said: “We are an avowedly non-party political organisation, and though we obviously campaign for independence, surely we have as much right as anyone to use on a very temporary basis what is, after all, the land of the sovereign people of Scotland.”
A spokesperson for HES said: “We received an application from All Under One Banner to set up stalls within Holyrood Park as part of their March for Independence.
“As a non-departmental public body, Historic Environment Scotland must remain politically neutral at all times and we do not permit political events of any nature to take place within our Properties in Care. On this basis, we have not granted permission for this element of the event to take place on the Property in Care. As is our normal practice we will accommodate the request to march on the road network within the Park between Horse Wynd through to Holyrood Gait for public safety reasons.”