Embarrassed Scots call on First Minister to act over sectarian marches
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon received a deluge of letters and emails from ‘embarrassed’ Scots calling for a ban on sectarian marches.
A freedom of information request has revealed that the Scottish First Minister was inundated with letters and emails from the public in the wake of sectarian riots and marches over the summer, reported The Daily Record.
The marches resulted in a number of arrests amid violent clashes between loyalists and republicans. Members of the public also became targets of abuse and assault, with one woman being spat on by a marcher at an Orange Walk in Glasgow city centre.
The disorder followed on from last year, when Catholic priest Canon Tom White was spat at and assaulted as an Orange Walk passed St Alphonsus Church in Glasgow’s East End, as the priest spoke to parishioners.
One letter sent to the Scottish First Minister, which has been released under Freedom of Information laws with the sender’s name covered, said: ‘For the first time in my 43 years of being born, educated and living in the west of Scotland I am embarrassed to be a Glaswegian.
‘I have been a victim of racially-motivated hate crime a number of times living in Glasgow.
‘Most recently, I was pushed on to the road and called a “black b******” when I was walking with my wife on a Saturday afternoon.
‘I have never felt I was not Glaswegian or Scottish but I was embarrassed to be both.
‘I work for a recruitment agency focused on attracting talent to Scotland based on the quality of life.
‘After witnessing these events, I do not see what the attraction would be for any new immigrant to Scotland.
‘I am asking you to question why the Scottish Government has not done more to stop any of the hate-filled marches taking place in Scotland.’
Other letters strongly criticised anti-Catholic Orange Walks, which left Catholics feeling ‘threatened and bullied’.
‘It’s 2019 and yet again I’m unable to walk the streets of Glasgow without feeling threatened and bullied by the Orange Order marching in pure hatred of my Catholic religion. Why are you allowing this to happen?’ wrote the sender.
Another questioned: ‘What is happening when the powers that be continue to allow anti-Catholic parades to parade by Catholic churches?
‘It seems anti-Catholic hatred is getting worse in Scotland.’
Earlier this year, Canon White accused the authorities of being “blind” to anti-Catholic bigotry.
“I feel it is now time to hold to account those in public office: the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and Glasgow City Council for failing in their statutory duties. There is a systemic failure at national and local level in ensuring the safety of all citizens, and particularly the minority Catholic group, during the Loyal Order marching season,” he said in July.
Picture: Archive photo, dated 1st July 2017, shows participants taking part in Orange Walks across the city of Glasgow. (Jane Barlow/PA).