LGBTQ+ community turns out in force to counter-protest group who planned to ‘brick up’ gender clinic

Counter protesters outside Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow

Hundreds of members of the LGBTQ+ community turned out to counter-protest a group who planned to “brick up” the doors of a gender clinic in Scotland. 

Members of the Scottish Family Party and the LGBTQ+ community came face to face on Saturday afternoon (11 March) as they clashed over abortion access and trans healthcare. 

Counter-protesters waved pride flags and joined in with Cabaret Against The Hate Speech, an anti-facist group which counters hate speech in Scotland with music, song and dance. 

Images and footage shared on social media showed Cabaret Against The Hate Speech singing Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and attendees taking turns to dance in the centre of the crowd. 

One counter-protester, Ainsley Rogers, told PinkNews the atmosphere was “peaceful and fun celebration of community and support”. 

“The atmosphere was incredible – full of love and positivity!” she said. 

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A second attendee similarly described the atmosphere of the counter-protest as “uplifting and filled with joy and love”.

Beth Douglas told PinkNews: “Sandyford isn’t just a gender clinic, it’s a sexual health service, it offers contraceptive, abortion related healthcare and runs support services for survivors of sexual assault.

“Sandyford is an incredibly important building to many Scots and that’s exactly why so many people came today to passionately defend it and demand buffer zones.”

Sandyford clinic provides abortion and contraception, alongside a gender service (Ainsley Rogers)

Earlier this month, during a livestream event, Niall Fraser told fellow Scottish Family Party member Richard Lucas that the group planned to “brick up” Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow, in order to halt people accessing its services. 

“The plan is to brick the building up, just to brick it up. Because how do we stop kids accessing the building? Well, we have to block the entrance, so we’re going to brick it up. Physically, metaphorically, whatever you want to say, we’re gonna impede people getting into the building,” he said. 

The clinic, located in Sandyford Place, is an integrated sexual and reproductive health service operated by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC). 

Sandyford offers a range of services which include STI testing, contraception, abortion, sexual assault and rape support, alongside a gender clinic. 

In a Facebook post shared on 4 March, the political group described the clinic as delivering “harmful ideologically-driven ‘treatments’ to children” and said it would “symbolically brick it up” to show its “outrage at the way children’s well-being is being sacrificed to fashionable ideology”. 

A photograph shared on social media shows the group standing in front of the clinic’s doors with pretend bricks blocking the entrance, a sign read: “Stop experimenting on children.”

An estimated 20 people attended the Scottish Family Party’s protest against the clinic, whilst around 200 people turned up for the counter protest. 

A Police Scotland spokesperson told PinkNews: “Officers were in attendance at the planned protest on Sandyford Place, Glasgow, on Saturday, 11 March, 2023.

“There were no arrests and all involved have now left the location.”

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