Man arrested after fireworks thrown at police during SDL rally

A man is to appear in court after fireworks were launched at police during a far-right rally.
Fifty people took part in the SDL demonstration. Picture: John DevlinFifty people took part in the SDL demonstration. Picture: John Devlin
Fifty people took part in the SDL demonstration. Picture: John Devlin

Around 50 people took part in the Scottish Defence League’s (SDL) pro-free speech demonstration in Glasgow’s George Square on Saturday, while about 200 were there to counter protest.

One man was arrested after about 40 people - not connected to either group - threw “smoke bombs and pyrotechnics” at officers on North Hanover Street.

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No one who was part of either demonstration was arrested by police.

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Superintendent John McBride said: “The SDL demo and the counter protests that took place in George Square on Saturday passed peacefully with no arrests made.

“While the demonstration was taking place, a group of around 40 people who appeared intent on causing disorder were stopped by officers in nearby North Hanover Street.

“Smoke bombs and pyrotechnics were thrown at police officers at this time, however thankfully there was no one injured.

“It is evident that those involved in the disorder in North Hanover Street had no concerns for the safety of everyone in that busy area and police enquiries are ongoing to identify those involved.”

A 26-year-old man was arrested and charged in connection with culpable and reckless conduct and is due to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday.

The far-right organisation staged the rally calling for police to “deal with Glasgow’s grooming gangs” and promote people’s right to “highlight the issue”.

Unite Against Fascism Scotland organised a counter-demonstration.

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It gathered support from trade unions, pro-refugee campaigns and anti-racism groups.

The SDL rally comes after English Defence League founder Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon - known as Tommy Robinson - was jailed over contempt of court.

He was sentenced to 13 months in prison in May after he filmed people involved in a criminal trial and broadcast it on social media.

The footage, lasting around an hour, was watched 250,000 times within hours of being posted on Facebook.

He is currently waiting to find out if he has succeeded in challenges against his conviction and sentence.