I had further communication with a spokesperson from the Renfield St Stephen’s Centre (RSSC) last night.
In the aftermath of the Police Scotland statement, I was keen to ascertain the precise sequence of events that had led to the Call It Out meeting being cancelled.
Unfortunately, the main person at RSSC involved in that (the manager) is on vacation this week.
Consequently, I have been dealing with a senior person in the RSSC hierarchy, but he doesn’t have the day to day responsibilities there.
For the avoidance of doubt, over the last 24 hours, he has been helpful, polite and open with me.
So when I asked him about the role of the Police in the cancellation he said this to me:
“I think the police had already been contacted by the Manager. How that fed into and influenced our discussion I can’t recall. Did it amount to ‘advice’? I myself can’t be sure. So it’s difficult to answer the first question.”
He was keen to reiterate that the RSSC had acted in good faith and that they were:
“…motivated by a wish to protect public order and exercise our duty of care towards employees and customers.”
From my vantage point, there is no doubt that this is the case.
He concluded with:
“We are very disappointed that the event did not proceed, as it is always our intention to protect freedom of speech, to support the expression of a wide range of opinion and to oppose bigotry, I would not like the Centre to be represented as complicit in anything to the contrary.”
Any reasonable person would concur that the RSSC is blameless in this sad affair.
The blame squarely lies with those that the RSSC spokesperson called “extremists”.
Ironically their actions they have demonstrated a clear need for Call It Out.
The meeting goes ahead.
It could be the beginning of something.