Princes Street protest planned by Scottish independence marchers over Holyrood Park ban

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Thousands of Scottish independence supporters could cause major disruption in the heart of Edinburgh this weekend as part of a proposed protest.

After it was confirmed that Historic Environment Scotland (HES) would not grant permission for a political rally to go ahead in Holyrood Park, some independence campaigners are planning a ‘sit down protest’ on Princes Street.

Up to 2,000 people could take part in a protest against the HES decision.

Up to 2,000 people could take part in a protest against the HES decision.

There are fears that up to 2,000 people could take part in a protest prior to a planned Scottish independence march.

READ MORE: Scottish independence rally at risk after organisers refused access to Holyrood Park

HES, who manage Holyrood park informed All Under One Banner that the rally segment of the event could not take place due to the fact that it would be political in nature, despite the organisers outlining their plans to the Council and police.

However, organisers are still calling for HES to reverse their decision warning that they “cannot guarantee that members of the independence movement will not take things into their own hands in protest at HES’s actions”

In an exclusive interview with The National Manny Singh who is in charge of stewarding for organisers All Under One Banner said: “It is our opinion that the legislation cannot prevent us from gathering on public land such as Holyrood Park but HES are refusing to discuss it with us.

“We told them that this prospect of other protests might happen and judging by social media, it now looks as though they will happen.”

A similar Better Together event was banned from Holyrood Park in 2014 however campaigners have questioned why an event for independence was not banned at Edinburgh Castle, which is also operated by HES.

Earlier this week, All Under One Banner had urged their Facebook followers to protest against the decision of HES stating that the refusal to be given access to the venue discriminates against the group.

Protests suggested have also included that all those attending simply use the park “for a picnic”

READ MORE: Marchers plan ‘picnic’ at Holyrood Park after Scottish independence rally is banned

Last week, a spokesperson for HES said: “We received an application from All Under One Banner to set up stalls within Holyrood Park as part of their March for Independence.

“As a non-departmental public body, Historic Environment Scotland must remain politically neutral at all times and we do not permit political events of any nature to take place within our Properties in Care.

Similar independence marches are taking place in Glasgow, Dumfries, Stirling, Inverness and Dundee.