Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 14:14 UK

School protest in CCTV stand off

Occupying parents
Parents occupied a number of Glasgow schools over the Easter holidays

An MSP has accused Glasgow City Council of breaching the civil liberties of protesters who are occupying a school earmarked for closure.

Liberal Democrat Robert Brown said CCTV cameras were turned on the group inside Wyndford Primary School, Maryhill, over the weekend.

The council said it advised protesters of filming as a control measure after a potential flashpoint developed.

It said the footage had not been viewed and it would soon be deleted.

About a dozen campaigners are believed to be inside Wyndford Primary in protest at the planned demolition of the building.

During the weekend, council officials arrived with vans to remove files from the school.

The council's action is excessive, unwarranted and a breach of civil liberties
Robert Brown MSP
Liberal Democrats

A council spokesman said that protesters had threatened to block the vans from leaving.

He said protesters were advised that CCTV cameras in the area had been turned towards the school as a "control measure".

The spokesman said that no incident developed and the cameras had been turned away.

The footage recorded, he said, had not been viewed by council officials and would be deleted "in the next few days".

The incident provoked criticism from Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson and MSP for Glasgow, Robert Brown.

"This is a civil protest, not a criminal issue," he said.

"It is completely unacceptable if the council has made use of CCTV cameras, put in place to protect the local community, to breach the civil liberties of members of that same community.

'Dirty tricks'

"The redirection of the cameras, away from the flats they were installed to monitor, will compromise the security of these homes. The council's action is excessive, unwarranted and a breach of civil liberties."

Glasgow City Council voted to close a number of primaries, including Wyndford, at a meeting in April.

The Glasgow save Our Schools Campaign also occupied the school at Easter.

Meanwhile, protesters have also accused council officials of using "dirty tricks" in a bid to end their occupation.

The group has claimed that a workman came to the building on Tuesday morning saying that "he could smell gas and needed to deal with it".

Protesters claimed that instead, the workman turned the water off.

The spokesman for Glasgow City Council added: "The protesters are in one of buildings without permission.

"The protest is futile because the school is closed and will remain closed."



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