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Glasgow City Council

Policy on Public Processions

What are the key principles?

The following key principles underpin our policy on public processions and demonstrations:

  • The rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, as outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights, are fundamental rights which we believe should be open to all.
  • These rights are not absolute, however; they must be balanced by the responsibility to ensure that the rights of others are not infringed. These rights are subject to proportionate limitations where it is necessary to do so.
  • The exercise of these rights brings specific responsibilities, both to those organising and participating in processions, especially in relation to those residents and businesses who may suffer from disruption caused by a particular procession.

What are the guidelines for us?

Find out the guidelines here.

What are the guidelines for organisers?

As an organiser of a procession you will be required to agree to certain conditions when notifying the Council of his/her intention to hold a procession. In practice, there will be a degree of flexibility in how far the guidelines operate to reflect local circumstances.

As an organiser you should :

• provide 28 days notice to the Police and to us of the intention to hold a procession , except in those circumstances where this period of notice would be impractical;

• give notification as early as possible in those cases where a series of similar processions is proposed;

• co-operate with the Council and the Police from the time of submission of the notification of a procession until the procession disperses;

• identify himself/herself to the Police Officer in charge at the commencement of the procession;

• make sure that all participants have been informed of any conditions imposed on the procession (change to timing, change to route etc);

• make sure anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not allowed to participate;

• make sure an appropriate ratio of stewards or marshals to participants (one to ten) and that all stewards:

- carry proof of status;

- co-operate with the Police as required;

- are highly visible and easily identifiable;

- conduct themselves in a proper manner;

- ensure that participants comply with directions regarding their own public safety and that of members of the public;

• make sure that, wherever possible, processions follow main roads, rather than going through residential housing developments;

• make sure that all participants do not march more than four abreast, keeping to the near or left hand side of the street except on one-way streets where they will keep to the right side;

• make sure that the Police are assisted in guaranteeing that passage is allowed for traffic and pedestrians;

• make sure that the procession is split into sections in order to avoid serious dislocation of traffic and to facilitate the crossing of pedestrians who have a right of free access and passage to or through any public area;

• make sure that all playing of music ceases when approaching and passing places of worship while services are in progress, as instructed by the Police;

• make sure all participants disperse as soon as the procession concludes;

• make sure that the behaviour of participants could not reasonably be perceived as being deliberately aggressive (ie threatening, abusive, homophobic, sectarian, or racist);

• accept that you are responsible for the behaviour of all participants, including bands where appropriate, (as well as followers) and for making sure general compliance with our policy on public processions and Police instructions;

• note that the conditions of Section 62 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 in relation to the use of loudspeakers shall be observed;

• note that the terms of the Public Order Act 1986 in relation to the prohibition of the wearing of uniforms signifying association with any political organisations etc shall be observed;

• note that the terms of the City of Glasgow District Council (Prohibition of the consumption of Alcohol) Byelaws 1996, in relation to the prohibition of the consumption of alcohol by any person in a designated place shall be observed;

• note that we may take into account any public disorder, anti-social behaviour or damage to property resulting from a specific procession if notification is received from the organiser for a similar march.

What are the guidelines for participants?

All participants in processions are required to:

• behave with due regard for the rights, traditions and feelings of others in the vicinity of the procession, particularly in areas where there has previously been public disorder around processions;

• behave with due respect at 'sensitive' areas such as places of worship, as above

• refrain from using words or behaviour which could reasonably be perceived as being deliberately aggressive (ie threatening, abusive, homophobic, sectarian, or racist);

• obey the lawful direction of procession organisers, stewards and the Police at all times;

• keep to the designated route as directed by the Police;

• refrain from consuming alcohol or drugs prior to or during the procession;

• not display flags relating to proscribed organisations or which are likely to cause offence;

• disperse in good order as soon as the procession concludes.

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