Police probe “white power” concert threat

A  campaign poster message from Hope Not Hate.
A campaign poster message from Hope Not Hate.

Police say they have no evidence of a plan to move an underground “white power” concert in Edinburgh on Saturday (October 22) to a secret venue in Falkirk.

But they say they know about the lead group involved – US band Bound For Glory – and are taking all necessary steps to confirm the time, date and place of the concert.

The anti-racism group Hope For Hate has told the Herald it has “definite evidence” the concert is being “moved” to Falkirk.

A police spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland regularly works closely with local authority partners to investigate and, where possible, intervene in any event that promotes extremist or racist views.

“We take all reports of incitement to racial hatred very seriously and will deal firmly with any group or individual that seeks to incite violence or hatred against any person based upon their race, belief, nationality, gender or sexual orientation.”

Hope For Hate say the concert would run from 2pm till 8pm, and have raised the spectre of hundreds of drunk skinheads leaving the gig when many local people are heading for a night out.

The group claims success working undercover in far right groups, and is credited in a national newspaper this weekend as having infiltrated America’s Ku Klux Klan.

The Scottish Bound For Glory concert has been reported since January as planned to take place in Edinburgh on October 22.

But Hope Not Hate says a change of plan has seen the gig switched to an unknown venue in Falkirk.

Spokesman Duncan Cahill told the Herald: “The idea is that they meet at a venue in Edinburgh then go by train to Falkirk.

“These concerts are not planned up front, and you have to be on a mailing list to get notice of them.

“We hope Bound for Glory are banned from the UK, but a similar concert involving around 500 people went ahead in Cambridge a couple of weeks ago”.

Lothians MSP Neil Findlay has said the Home Secretary must refuse the band entry to the UK, and has circulated a Hope for Hate petition calling for a banning order to stop them entering the UK.

He tweeted to say urgent action was needed to stop them playing anywhere in Scotland.

Besides neo-Nazis from across the UK these events are said to be popular with fascists travelling from countries including Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Duncan Cahill said that Scotland’s anti-sectarianism laws could be brought into play to tackle far right content, but that the only official permission the event would need would be an eight per cent fee paid to the Performing Rights Society.

It’s understood that if such a concert did go ahead it would be in a warehouse or similar fixture, not a public hall.

Hope Not Hate said both ASLEF and RMT union members would almost certainly refuse to operate any train carrying the group’s supporters.