Church cancels launch of anti-sectarian campaign after threats to “staff safety”


CHURCH staff cancelled the launch of an anti-sectarianism campaign after they received threats to their safety.

Call It Out, a campaign against “anti-catholic bigotry and anti-Irish racism” planned to launch at Church of Scotland premises in Glasgow.

But the meeting at the Renfield St Stephen’s Centre was abandoned on the grounds of “staff safety” following threats.

One of the campaign leaders, Khenny Toany, posted on Facebook: “Since this committee was formed there’s been voices saying this organisation is not needed.

Call It Out originally planned on having their launch at the Renfield St Stephen’s Centre

“Bizarre then that the original meeting place Renfield St Stephen’s has received multiple threats and chosen to cancel the booking citing staff safety.

“Time to call it out!”

The meeting, due to be held at the church on Monday, October 29, has been rescheduled for the same day at St Anne’s RC Primary School.

Due threats being made by phone the church cancelled the event

The group, on October 16, urged supporters to come along to their Renfield St Stephens Centre launch.

They posted: “We’ve had enough of anti-Catholic bigotry and anti-Irish racism in Scotland.

“Come along and join us at the open meeting to launch our new campaign. #EnoughsEnough”.

But they revealed yesterday: “As a result of threats received, Renfield St Stephen’s have cancelled our booking.

The launch meeting had been rearranged to take place at St Anne’s RC Primary School

“Nevertheless we intend to proceed with our meeting at a new venue, with this incident merely demonstrating why such a campaign is so badly required. We look forward to seeing you all there”.

This morning Call It Out reminded people not to give into to hate. They said: “Don’t let the bigots win. Come along to our launch meeting on Monday”.

Noapologists69 responded: “Absolutely shocking! This deserves our full support”.

Gerardgough added: “Can’t let the bigots and racists win! #wevehadenough”.

Many people were angered by the decision to cancel the meeting

AngelaHaggerty wrote: “Shocking, isn’t it? If you were in any doubt before, threats such as these underline why a meeting like this is so urgently needed for the Irish and Catholic community.

“Spread the news far and wide among your friends and family. The meeting is going ahead next week”.

JeanFind said: “Someone very helpfully (ahem) making the point of this campaign for us! Not the first venue to cave in to threats from bigots but disappointing nevertheless.

“However, we will crack on and have the meeting regardless. See you all there I hope!”.

Other have urged people to support the campaign

Johnboybeattie wrote: “Welcome to the all-inclusive, warm and tolerant Scotland of the 21st century”.

The church today revealed that within hours of the event being publicised on social media they had received threatening phone calls.

A spokesman from the Renfield St Stephen’s Centre said: “We are very disappointed that we have had to cancel this booking for a cause we believe strongly in.

“We received threatening phone calls within hours of the group publicly posting the booking on social media.

Staff safety was the primary reason for cancelling the booking

“We decided to cancel the booking for the duty of care to our staff and customers and the considerable risk to public order.

“If the organisation would re-approach us in the future we would have to think very carefully”.

A spokeswoman from Police Scotland said: “Police were aware that the event was scheduled to take place and visited the centre to get more info from staff but were advised that they had taken the decision to cancel.

Renfield St Stephen’s Centre would consider hosting Call It Out in future

“This decision was made by the centre and not on any instruction or advice from police”.

A Church of Scotland spokeswoman said: “We are very sorry that the Call It Out group has had an unfortunate experience with the Renfield Centre.

“However as the Centre is owned by the Renfield St Trust and managed by the Renfield Centre Ltd, the Church of Scotland has no influence over their management decisions.

“The Church of Scotland is actively engaged in anti-sectarian work in Glasgow and it is deeply regrettable that this important work could be hindered by threats.

“We extend our best wishes to the Call It Out group.”