Protest at Orange parade in Glasgow

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A parade by the anti-Catholic Orange Order past a Catholic church went ahead in Glasgow on Sunday, 27 March, amid a new focus on the failure of the authorities in Scotland to limit sectarian marches in the city.

Hundreds of anti-Catholic parades take place in Glasgow every year, which is now outstripping the north of Ireland as the centre for contested, coat-trailing Orange parades.

On Sunday morning, a silent protest took place as an Orange Order parade passed St Alphonsus church in the Calton area of the city, where in 2018 a priest was spat upon by loyalist marchers.

The Call It Out organisation, which organised the protest at the church, described Sunday’s event as another “egregious act of hatred” after abuse was again hurled in their direction.

“Yet again we were subjected to filthy comments and a clear breach of the rules regarding music outside the church,” it said.

“We need to have further discussion about where we take this campaign. Our consistent, lawful, peaceful approach has focussed wider public attention on how the rights of our community are ignored by Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland. However, it has not stopped these displays of hatred.”

But a new proposal for a Scottish parades commission has been criticised for avoiding the issue of sectarianism within the city’s institutions.

Jeannette Findlay, chair of Call It Out said: “The notion of a parades commission in Scotland in 2022 is ludicrous.

“Scotland is not a post-conflict society and therefore does not need to borrow ideas from the position in Ireland.”

She said that there is adequate legislation already in place in Scotland to ensure that the needs of all parts of the community are met.

“The problem is that legislation is not operated properly, and the needs of the Catholic/Irish Catholic community are rarely considered.

“Local authorities do have the power to protect our places of worship, they simply choose not to.”

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