Six arrests have been made “so far” after “racist thuggery” broke out in Glasgow.
No Evictions Glasgow was due to be protesting over the living conditions of refugees in George Square at around 6pm, despite saying it had been made aware far-right groups would be turning up an hour before.
Hundreds were at the scene on Wednesday as well as a large police presence, with clashes breaking out.
Chief Superintendent Mark Hargreaves said: “We had an appropriate police presence in place to ensure public safety during the demonstrations in the George Square area on the evening of Wednesday (yesterday).
“So far, six men have been arrested for minor public order offences and reports will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.
“A review will be undertaken and should any further criminality be identified appropriate action will be taken.”
Police sealed off the area to traffic while the groups were there and the campaigners had to cut short their rally in George Square as it was deemed “unsafe”.
A statement posted on Twitter said: “It’s been decided the location of the demo at this time is not safe so we are going to leave the area as a group. If you haven’t made it in don’t try get in and stay away from the square. Try to make sure you are not alone if you are at the demo or in the vicinity.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Disgraceful scenes in Glasgow tonight. Racist thugs shame Scotland. If they break the law, they should face the full force of it.
“And all of us should unite to say that welcoming refugees and asylum seekers is part of who we are.”
Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf branded the other group “racist” and said arrests had been made.
He tweeted: “Briefed by Police Scotland on disorder in George Sq. Let’s not mince our words, this has nothing to do with statues and everything to do with racist thuggery. Police have made a number of arrests already and will continue to take all necessary action against those responsible.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard condemned the violence.
He tweeted: “The bigotry on display in Glasgow this evening has no place in a tolerant, open society and must be condemned.”
Justice minister Chris Philp also condemned the violent scenes in Glasgow.
Responding to Glasgow East SNP MP Chris Stephens’ comments in the commons of “far-right thuggery”, Mr Philp said: “Violent protest of any kind is abhorrent.
“People do have a right to peaceful protest and I join him, and I’m sure everybody in the house, in condemning the acts of violence to which he referred to earlier.”