Youth claims cops were heavy-handed at demo

A YOUTH activist from Bearsden has lodged a formal complaint about Strathclyde Police after he claims an officer was violent towards him during an anti-fascist demonstration in Glasgow on Saturday.

Bearsden Academy pupil, Ewan McAleer (15), alleges that another police officer forcefully removed a cloth which was covering most of his face at the stand-off between about 30 members of the far right Scottish Defence League and 100 protestors at St Enoch’s Square.

The clash began when he tried to take pictures of the police officers’ badge numbers because he claims they were harassing another demonstrator.

Ewan said: “I was proud to stand against Nazis in Glasgow and show them they are not welcome here.

“The actions of police officers towards myself and other peaceful protesters were simply unacceptable. I did not expect their heavy-handed response.

“I, like many others, cover my face on these demonstrations because these vile racists circulate images of anti-fascists and encourage violence against them. Plenty of others on both sides did not have items of clothing removed without explanation.

“A trained legal adviser has told me that as a Section 60 order was not in place it was entirely illegal for the officers to touch me at all. I am waiting for a reply to my complaint.”

Bearsden Academy pupil, Ross Greer, MSYP for Milngavie and Bearsden North, stood united with Ewan on the day and he criticised the police, saying that their actions were ‘questionable’.

The 17-year-old said: “Whilst I am sure they were simply trying to ensure a peaceful day, there was no need for their threatening nature and use of force.

“It’s excellent that young people from my constituency are getting involved in fighting fascism and racism. It shows how far we have come as a nation. It is crystal clear, Scotland says NO to racists.”

There was no response to the compaint from Strathclyde Police as we went to press.