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Black Lives Matter protestors urged to stay away from events in Scotland

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scotland’s chief constable, Iain Livingstone, have urged Black Lives Matter supporters to avoid taking part in large public protests in Scotland this weekend because of the risk of transmitting the coronavirus.

Livingstone said during the Scottish government’s daily press briefing he recognised people were “shocked and distressed” by the death of George Floyd. “I understand the desire of people to make their voices heard,” he added.

But attending the mass rallies planned in various cities in Scotland would be dangerous, he said. Police were liaising with the event organisers to urge them to avoid breaching Scotland’s strict lockdown and social-distancing rules, which prohibits gatherings of more than eight people and requires those groups to stay at least two metres apart.

‘Because the threat of coronavirus is still with us, people shouldn’t attend mass gatherings which pose a very clear risk to public health,” Livingstone said. “it is essential everyone sticks to the rules”.

The first minister said protestors should heed the appeal from prominent BAME politicians on Thursday, including Hamza Yousaf, the Scottish justice secretary, and Anas Sarwar, a senior Scottish Labour MSP, to find different ways to protest.


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