UK: Activists gather to protect Peel statue from protesters in Glasgow

Activists gathered in the main square of Glasgow on Sunday to guard the statue of former UK Prime Minister Robert Peel after BLM activists campaigned for its removal. Earlier on Sunday groups pro and against the monument clashed with police around George Square. The protesters were unable to gain access to the square after hundreds of counter-demonstrators organised by the far-right Loyalist Defence League pushed them away. Scottish PM Nicola Sturgeon condemned the incident claiming that “violent protest is never acceptable.” An army veteran that showed up to defend the statue and city’s Cenotaph told Ruptly that “it doesn't matter what happens you shouldn't be taking it out on the likes of a statue like that.” A local lecturer at George Square said that “there needs to be a public consultation about it now that it has been raised as an issue and I think primarily the voices of colour are what should matter in the discussion”, adding that black voices should be “elevated as they are the ones most affected by the kind of celebration of these historical figures who probably had dubious pasts.» Robert Peel was an 18th century prime minister who founded the modern police. Statues of him in Leeds, Bury, Manchester, Preston and Glasgow have been included on a list of possible targets following the toppling of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol in the wake of the anti-racism protests.

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