THE measured and peaceful protests carried out by the Call It Out campaign look set to continue as public processions in Glasgow and elsewhere descend into chaos around them.
The reasonable demands to prevent anti-Catholic processions being routed past Catholic places of worship have seen an organised and violent response by Loyalists in the city, who are now targeting the presence of Irish Republican marches. The outpouring of protests aimed at Republican parades—including a night of Loyalist rioting in Govan (above) and further scenes of Loyalist violence in Glasgow city centre—presents the danger of a false equivalence being created through the issue of public processions, leading to Call It Out: The Campaign Against Anti-Catholic Bigotry and Anti-Irish Racism reasserting their commitment to peacefully opposing Orange parades past Catholic churches.
“The recent high profile clashes at public processions in Glasgow should do nothing to detract from the simple and entirely reasonable demand put forward by Call It Out when we commenced our protests at the presence of anti-Catholic marches past Catholic churches,” a spokesperson for Call It Out told The Irish Voice. “The rights of Catholics to use their churches free from the spectacle of anti-Catholic parades and the bigotry, anti-Irish racism and intimidation which so often accompanies them must be protected by the authorities.
“We will continue to hold our peaceful and silent protests as necessary, and will rely on support from within our community and from our fellow citizens who recognise the unacceptable situation which faces Catholics and Catholic churches.”
The importance of the Scottish public seeing the distinction the scenes of Loyalist disorder and the Irish Catholic community in Glasgow taking a stand against anti-Catholic parades passing Catholic churches has become even clearer in the reaction to Loyalist violence, which has even seen Catholic schools dragged into the storm of criticism.
Most worryingly, Glasgow City Council Head of Communications, Colin Edgar, described the protests following the assault of Canon Tom White in 2019 as coming from ‘the Republican side of this debate’ during an interview with the BBC’s Mark Simpson.
In reality, the protests were spearheaded by Call It Out and were made up of parishioners, Catholics from across Glasgow, trade unionists and other concerned citizens, and were a simple assertion of the rights of Catholics in Glasgow to have their places of worship protected from anti-Catholic parades.
“It is a matter of great distress to our community that the print and broadcast media continue to conspire to spread a false equivalence narrative in which Loyalist and anti-Catholic violence and intimidation is portrayed as ‘clashes between Republicans and Loyalists,’” a spokesperson for Call It Out concluded. “The fact that they have now been aided in this endeavour by an employee of Glasgow City Council is wholly and entirely unacceptable.”
Campaigners now hope that those in authority, and wider Scottish society, will see the value in their peaceful and disciplined protests in the face of bigotry, racism, intimidation and provocation and be more inclined to deal with them effectively in order to give the rights of the Irish and Catholic communities in Scotland the legal protection they deserve.