The organiser of a Scottish Independence march that attracted thousands of people to Aberdeen city centre is to stand trial later in the year accused of not having the correct legal safeguards in place.
Pro-independence group All Under One Banner (AUOB) held a demonstration through the Granite City in August 2019, which saw Union Street transformed into a sea of saltires and lion-rampant flags.
Gary Kelly, the man behind the march, now faces charges of holding the event without the proper insurance in place and of failing to arrange a temporary traffic order to obtain a road closure.
The demonstration saw thousands of independence supporters walk from Albyn Place down Union Street and on to the city’s Castlegate.
Kelly, of Drummore Road, Glasgow, denied the charges at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
The 46-year old will now face a criminal trial on November 22.
Questions over whether correct orders were obtained
He is alleged to have breached two charges under Section 651C of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 which relates to “a person who holds a procession in public otherwise than in accordance with a condition imposed by an order”.
It is also alleged Kelly did not acquire a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) and seek a fully approved traffic management company road closure to be in place during the procession.
He is also charged with not having Public Liability Insurance in place to protect against any incident that might have occurred during the march.
Route was changed at 11th hour
The demonstration – initially planned to go from the Castlegate to Duthie Park – went ahead after an 11th hour route change and permission was only granted by council chiefs days beforehand.
A week before the march, and before the council had granted permission, unionist group A Force For Good announced it would be holding a counter-protest.
The march went ahead peacefully in August.