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Nicola Sturgeon condemns ‘shameful behaviour’ as protests in Glasgow turn violent
14 June 2020, 16:42
Nicola Sturgeon has condemned "unacceptable violence" as protesters clashed with the police during a demonstration in Glasgow.
Police in the city clashed with protesters who claimed to be protecting the statue of Sir Robert Peel, a former Prime Minister whose relatives are connected to the slave trade.
The First Minister of Scotland condemned the “shameful behaviour” and said that violent protesters in the city should “take a long hard look at themselves”.
At the daily briefing in Scotland, Ms Sturgeon said: “In my view, people should not be taking part in mass gatherings because it is not safe, it puts health at risk and potentially puts life at risk given the threat we face from the coronavirus.
“I welcome the decision from Black Lives Matter to cancel the protest in Glasgow today.
“That said, violent protest is not acceptable and I would say to anybody today who has found themselves today in an altercation with other groups or in an altercation with the police that they should take a long hard look at themselves.
“That is not acceptable behaviour at any time, but at this time of crisis that the country faces I think it is particularly shameful behaviour.”
Hundreds arrived at George Square in the city centre at around 12pm before a minority began chasing bystanders in the street and fighting with police officers.
Black Lives Matter cancelled their event citing a lack of space in George Square and the possibility of clashes - police officials say the violence is not being linked to protesters from the movement.
Protests have also been taking place in other parts of the UK as well.
In Leeds, hundreds have gathered peacefully in Millennium Square to listen to speeches and take the knee – a show of solidarity with people protesting the death of George Floyd in the US.
While there have been some minor altercations between counter-protesters, police and members of the press, the demonstration in the city has remained largely peaceful so far.