Scotland: Fears rise as anti-racist and anti-Islam demos planned

Scotland: Fears rise as anti-racist and anti-Islam demos planned

 Police chiefs fear fierce clashes may break out between activists linked to SDL and anti-fascist activists, who are assembling in Princes Street Gardens on Saturday morning.

After a counter-demonstration is held by the Scotland United group at the Ross Bandstand, thousands of marchers are expected to head through the city centre to the Meadows public park.

Details of the SDL march are shrouded in secrecy. Moreover, no permission has been sought for an authorized event and a huge police presence is expected in the city centre to try to thwart operation battles.

SDL supporters have created a promotional film featuring Highland warriors and battlefield images, to a soundtrack of songs such as We’ll Be Coming Down The Road and Easy Easy.

The promotional footage, posted on websites such as YouTube and Casuals United, features an image of fans holding up colored cards to create huge Saltires and Union flags at Ibrox

The SDL is an offshoot of the English Defense League (EDL), which has staged protests in Manchester , Birmingham and Stoke, with violent scenes.

Hamish Husband, spokesman for the Association of Tartan Army Supporters Clubs, said the SDL promo went against the fans’ ethos.  No-one from Rangers Football Club was available for comment last night.

Edinburgh City Council said about 3,000 people are expected to take part in Saturday’s Scotland United rally and parade.

A Scotland United spokesman said: “Previous EDL demonstrations have seen their racist thugs attack Asian people; chant ‘Muslims out’ and worse at passers-by and make Nazi salutes.

“It is vital that we do not allow these racist thugs terrorize and intimidate people.”

Iain Livingstone, Lothian and Borders assistant chief constable, ascertained that “Should any problems arise then we will respond in a robust manner to ensure that order is maintained and the rule of law upheld.”