The Justice Secretary has backed the police after reports and complaints of ‘kettling’ protesters at Saturday’s climate justice march.

Keith Brown said he was satisfied with the police tactics after a MSP raised concerns of protesters who said they were ‘kettled’ in the city centre.

The group was held in Holland Street at St Vincent Street and not allowed to rejoin the march.

READ MORE:COP 26 climate Justice March: The day the world came to Glasgow

Brown said policing was an operational matter for the Chief Constable, who he said had been clear would facilitate peaceful and lawful protest and ensure public safety.

Glasgow Times:

Maggie Chapman, Green MSP, said: “ I’m concerned that some of the tactics deployed during the COP have not taken account of important principles.

“The use of kettling tactics on peaceful protesters seems wholly disproportionate.

Glasgow Times:

“I’ve read reports of journalists kettled four hours with no access to water or toilets and a young mother with a baby in a pram trapped in a kettle. It can’t be right that children are being kettled.”

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She asked if Brown through kettling was a proportionate tactic to be used when dealing with peaceful protest.

Brown said he has had daily conversations with Police Scotland throughout COP 26.

He said “I am satisfied they have tried extremely hard to make sure that they have facilitated protest and that their response has been proportionate.”

The cabinet secretary said there have been 300 different protests the vast majority peaceful.

He repeated: “I am satisfied, from all the conversations I’ve had with Police Scotland that they have tried to be as proportionate as possible to facilitate protest and certainly to work within the bounds of legislation set for them by this parliament.”

Chapman raised the Holland Street incident.

She said: “At Saturday’s climate march one particular group was subject to a police kettle from the moment they arrived at Kelvingrove Park, without clear cause.

“As the march passed through the city centre the kettled group were halted by the police and prevented from moving any further. There were minors in this kettle.”

Russell Findlay, Conservative MSP, said some protesters were “disruptive” and “tried to antagonise police into confrontation”, adding “will he commend brave officers for stepping in to stop disruptive protesters?”

Brown replied: “There are examples of officers having had paint or liquid sprayed into their eyes but immediately returning to the front line, and of officers being hit over the head with banners. Many officers have been goaded.

“Such actions were carried out by a very small minority of the thousands of people who have been involved in protests, but it is wrong. I condemn it and I praise the officers concerned.”