Video: Protesters outside Glasgow City Chambers demand reinstatement of The Arches license


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Protesters staged a heated protest outside the City Chambers today and called for the Arches site to be placed on public property.

Performers and theater bosses joined Arches staff and audience supporters on John Street at 9 a.m., urging council bosses to reinstate the venue’s license.

A petition was handed to officials as a council licensing committee meeting began at 9:30 a.m.

About 150 protesters chanted “Save Our Arches” and waved banners that read “Don’t let the cops shut down our club” and “Save jobs, save the arts, save clubs, save culture”.

Mark Brown, theater critic, called for the venue to become public property.

He said: “The council says ‘people do Glasgow’. It’s fine to use a slogan like this, but actions speak louder than deeds.”

“The Arches belong to the people of Glasgow.

“We cannot allow the cops to shut down one of the city’s most important cultural institutions.

“Whatever the Arches business model, the license must be reinstated.

“We don’t want the Arches to become a G1 site. We don’t want it to become a Wetherspoons.

“It’s a quarter of a century of culture. It should be celebrated by Glasgow City Council.

“The idea that closing a club is going to stop anyone from doing drugs is ludicrous.”

Writer and director Kieran Hurley launched a series of questions to activists, including: “Do we want to live in a city that protects its cultural institutions?” We all answered them with a loud “Yes”.

The venue went into administration following a council decision to force the nightclub portion of the operation to close at midnight.

The decision follows a string of police complaints about drug abuse and unrest.

A spokesperson for the Glasgow Licensing Board said: “We fully respect the right of people to protest.

“All decisions of the board are based on the individual merits of the case in question and in accordance with the Licensing Act 2005 (Scotland).

“Changes to this legislation can only be made to the Scottish Parliament.”

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