Loyalist racists attempt to disrupt parade
Loyalist racists attempt to disrupt parade

A Bloody Sunday commemoration parade in Scotland on Saturday narrowly avoided erupting into serious violence after loyalists waving Union flags and giving Nazi salutes hurled bottles and abuse at marchers.

Up to 400 loyalists turned out to oppose a parade to mark the day of January 30, 1972, when members of the British army’s Parachute Regiment gunned down 13 nationalists during a civil rights demonstration. A 14th victim dying of his wounds in June that year.

Hundreds of police officers were mobilised after Scottish loyalists, some waving Union flags and giving Nazi salutes, lined the parade route through Glasgow city centre.

The parade was held up for 30 minutes after police expressed concern about the clothing worn by some of the loyalists.

After the march began, participants were subjected to a volley of racist and sectarian chants from loyalist demonstrators, while several bottles were thrown.

Gerry Duddy, whose brother Jackie was among those killed on Bloody Sunday, spoke at the weekend commemoration.

Mr Duddy last night said it had been a frightening experience for those who took part, but praised the restraint of the marchers.

“At one point, there were bottles, glasses and various other things being thrown at the marchers,” he said.

“However, despite the provocation, there was little reaction from the marchers and this ensured that things stayed relatively peaceful. The organisers also deserve praise for how well the parade was marshalled.”

Local police confirmed that 11 people had been arrested for offences including breach of the peace, assault, and possession of a knife.

Jim Slaven, of the march organiser Cairde na hEireann, said the marchers had behaved in a dignified manner.

“That’s what we would expect. People on the parade behaved with great dignity and respect. It was a peaceful march from our point of view,” he said.

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