100 join Edinburgh protest against ex-Trump aide Steve Bannon

Crowds gathered outside the EICC to protest the arrival of Steve Bannon. Picture: Neil Hanna
Crowds gathered outside the EICC to protest the arrival of Steve Bannon. Picture: Neil Hanna
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Around 100 people joined a protest against former White House strategist Steve Bannon as he addressed an international media event in Edinburgh.

Mr Bannon, who worked on Donald Trump’s successful presidential election campaign, was taking part in the News Xchange 2018 conference in the Scottish capital where a demonstration was organised outside the venue against his appearance.

Demonstrators protest outside of the EICC, where former White House strategist Steve Bannon was taking part in the News Xchange 2018 conference. Picture: Getty Images

Demonstrators protest outside of the EICC, where former White House strategist Steve Bannon was taking part in the News Xchange 2018 conference. Picture: Getty Images

There were chants of “Bannon out” and a minor disturbance broke out when a man was put in the back of a Police Scotland van shouting that he had been arrested for breach of the peace.

Mr Bannon’s support for right-wing political causes resulted in Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon withdrawing from the event when it was announced he was one of the main speakers.

Organisers last month defended the decision to invite him to take part, saying it was their “journalistic responsibility to share and scrutinise a range of relevant viewpoints within the framework of a balanced debate”.

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But Ms Sturgeon insisted at the time she would “not be part of any process that risks legitimising or normalising far-right, racist views”.

Willie Black was among those protesting at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, and he claimed giving the media executive a platform would “normalise far-right ideology”.

The 67-year-old retired electrician said: “He wants to strengthen all the right-wing organisations across Europe.

“We want to expose how his ideas are dangerous.

“We don’t want these people to be accepted as normal politicians.”