Ruth Suter, Daily Record, August 1, 2022
A ‘ racist ‘ group has sparked fury after hanging banners reading ‘White Lives Matter’ over landmarks in Glasgow. The disturbing pickets were hung up on statues in city centre at 9am on Sunday, July 31.
Pictures show the Queen Victoria and William Gladstone monuments in George Square and the Duke of Wellington on Ingram Street were among the sculptures to be targeted. It is understood that the pickets were erected as a counter-response to the Black Lives Matter movement – a worldwide campaign for racial equality.
Other images shared on social media show a group of around eight people standing outside the Gallery of Modern Art with a man in sunglasses holding up one of the signs. Condemning the ‘racist’ action, leader of Glasgow City Council, Susan Aitken, said that officials will support police with future enforcement if it is deemed necessary.
She said: “This is a slogan that we have seen used by the far right, by actual neo Nazis, in America. It isn’t making some clever point about equality – it is a racist attempt to trivialise, excuse and ignore the discrimination, hate and violence endured by people of colour.
“I don’t believe it is a campaign that has much support in Glasgow – and the council will certainly take steps to remove this sort of material and support police if they believe other action is necessary.”
Furious witnesses have hit out at the campaign, with one warning that the signs are not welcome in the city.
One man, who wished not to be named, said:” I was shocked and disappointed to see these far-right groups becoming more and more emboldened to becoming active in the middle of Glasgow. We all pride ourselves in being a friendly and multicultural city but I believe these signs could make BAME people in our city feel unwanted and unsafe.
“I am disgusted and these are not welcome in our community.”
Meanwhile, SNP councillor Angus Millar has blasted the wording on the signs and urged locals to unite to call the sloganeering out.
The city centre representative said: “It’s distressing to see these signs in Glasgow. Racism has no place in our city and these sorts of slogans are intended to assert white supremacy in the face of movements for racial and social justice such as Black Lives Matter.
“Glasgow has a long history of standing up to racism and I am sure the city will come together again to call this sloganeering out.”
In June 2020, thousands of people took to the streets in Scotland in mainly peaceful protests as part of the global Black Lives Matter movement. It followed after the death of a man named George Floyd while in police custody in the US.
Police Scotland confirmed that officers are investigating the matter.
A spokesperson said: “Officers were called to reports of signs being placed on monuments at George Square at 8.25am on Sunday, July 31. The signs were removed. Inquiries are ongoing.”