BY Peter Diamond | February 15 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

6-ORANGE

Silent protest planned as Orange walk set to pass Glasgow church of attacked priest

An orange parade will be met with a silent protest this weekend as it marches past St Alphonsus’ Church—the same church at which the parish priest was attacked last year during a loyalist parade.

The Orange Order parade is scheduled for Glasgow’s East End this Saturday and will be the first to go past St Alphonsus’ Church since Canon Tom White was spat on last July as a parade passed by.

Last month, Bradley Wallace, 24, was convicted at Glasgow Sheriff Court of assaulting Canon White.

Since the attack took place last July, several marches set to pass the church have been ordered to be re-routed on police advice about potential protests.

However, no objection was made to the march by Orange and Purple District 37 this Saturday February 16, prompting campaigners and parishioners to organise their own protest.

A spokesman for Call It Out, a group which campaigns against anti-Catholic bigotry and anti-Irish racism, said: “Call It Out will be staging a silent and static protest at St Alphonsus Church, Calton, this Saturday as part of our campaign to oppose anti-Catholic parades being routed past Catholic churches.

“It is vital that both Police Scotland and Glasgow City Council understand the strength of feeling present in the Catholic community as they make the simple and reasonable request that no such parades pass their places of worship.

“Call It Out, which campaigns against anti-Catholic bigotry and anti-Irish racism, will continue to ensure that anti-Catholic parades will no longer pass Catholic churches unopposed.

“While Call It Out objects strongly to anti-Catholic parades passing Catholic churches, the campaign is not seeking to deny the rights of the Orange Order to publicly hold such parades.

“Instead we are seeking goodwill and co-operation from the Orange Order, Police Scotland and council authorities to ensure that Catholic churches no longer have to face the presence of anti-Catholic parades at their front doors, while respecting the rights of those who wish to parade.

“With so many alternative routes available it is imperative that the rights of those who are directly affected by such parades receive the same respect and protection as the rights of those participating in Orange Order parades.”

 

Council action

In last week’s parish bulletin at St Alphonsus’, Catholics were urged to contact their local councillors to insist action be taken on the high number of Orange parades that pass Catholic churches in Glasgow.

A statement in the bulletin said: “After the assault on Canon Tom and the abuse hurled at our parishioners leaving the vigil Mass last year, Glasgow City Council was requested to review the number of marches and their routes, and the effect these have on the local community.

“This has not been done and another marching season is beginning and nothing has changed.

“Perhaps consider emailing or phoning one of our local councilors if you are worried that nothing has changed or will ever change.”

Parishioners were also made aware of the ‘peaceful counter protest’ due to take place if the parade is not re-routed.

The statement added: “As you may know, there will be an anti-Catholic March going past St Alphonsus’ Church on Saturday, February 16—leaving Bridgeton at 10.30am and then returning past the Church again shortly afterwards, after circling round Glasgow Cross.

“The organisation Call It Out will be forming a line in front of the Church as they pass. The aim of this static and silent protest is to make the point: ‘No Anti-Catholic marches past Catholic Churches.’”

In November 2018, eight female protestors from the Call It Out campaign group staged a protest outside St Michael’s Catholic Church in Glasgow as an Orange parade went past. The women held up a large banner with ‘No anti-Catholic Marches past Catholic Churches.’

In the initial application to Glasgow City Council it was estimated that up to 200 people would take part in the Orange parade this Saturday.

Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty, divisional commander for Greater Glasgow, said: “While the approval for any parade route is a matter for Glasgow City Council, Police Scotland has offered no objection in respect of this application.

“Our detailed planning is well underway and our officers are working closely with the Orange Order and the City Council to facilitate the parade.

“We have engaged with other stakeholders, including the Archdiocese of Glasgow, as part of our planning process.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Having consulted with Police Scotland on the proposed march, we have received no objection or request to alter the route.”

— Anyone wishing to take part in the protest is asked to first get in touch with Call It Out at: callitout2018@gmail.com

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