BY Ian Dunn | May 5 2017 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Police hunt after pro-life chain attack

Campaigners at annual peaceful protest in Edinburgh shocked by incident

Police Scotland are looking for two men who attacked a pro-life event in Edinburgh, turning over a stall and knocking a protestor to the ground.

More than 150 people including children took part in the peaceful pro-life chain lining Lothian Road in the capital last Saturday, but a violent intervention has sparked a police investigation.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh are investigating after two men caused a disturbance at a demonstration on Lothian Road, knocking one of the protestors to the ground. The incident (right) happened around 12.15pm on Saturday April 29 and inquiries are ongoing to trace the suspects. Anyone with information is asked to come forward.”

Emmet Dooley, who works for the pro-life charity the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Scotland (SPUC Scotland), was preparing to film a promotional video when he noticed someone standing behind a stall they had set up.

“Before we were making the video I spotted someone behind the stall and I knew they weren’t part of our crew,” he said. “They seemed a bit nervous, so I chatted to them and gave them a lollipop. Then, for the video, I was running down the line of people holding a flag and the guy knocked over the stall, sent all the material flying and tried to trip me up.

“I used to work in social care, so I was able to restrain him and then his pal from the pro-abortion protest charged over swinging his fists. I let go of the first guy and they kind of crashed into each other.”

He said the police then came and started taking statements and the two men involved disappeared. “Thank God no one was hurt,” he said. “You know, we had a great atmosphere, loads of kids there, so it was very family friendly—it was all really out of the blue.”


Church reaction

Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh Archdiocese had blessed some of those taking part in the annual pro-life chain before leaving to carry out confirmations. A spokesman for the archdiocese said:
“Since 1967 the pro-life movement in Scotland has always conducted itself in a peaceful and dignified way and so it’s a great credit to the supporters of SPUC Scotland that they maintained that peace and dignity on Lothian Road on Saturday when subjected to such violent provocation. ”



John Deighan, the chief executive of SPUC Scotland (right), said: “We represent the values of peace and respect but sadly there are those who wish to use intimidation to prevent us standing up for the innocents in the womb.

“I think that is a sign of their desperation, but the pro-life people present were undeterred. Otherwise, the day showed the strength of the pro-life community as opposed to a very small number of pro-abortionists. SPUC Scotland will continue to conduct our events with the same level of respect and serenity as was shown on Saturday in the belief that these are the values that will eventually win over the people of Scotland to support our cause.”

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