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GLASGOW Games police pinned a disability activist to the ground, cuffing him as a Queen’s baton relay runner looked on.
Demonstrator Sean Clerkin appeared in Paisley Sheriff Court yesterday, pleading not guilty to a charge of breach of the peace following dramatic scenes as the baton made its way through Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, on Wednesday evening.
The BBC’s live feed of the relay showed Mr Clerkin and a handful of fellow demonstrators with Glasgow Against Atos mobbed by police on the footpath.
The video showed baton-bearer Mohammad Asraf slowing his pace and looking on in concern before an accompanying officer in Games’ garb pats his shoulder and instructs him to move on.
Meanwhile a female officer could be heard saying, “We’ve got a baton to look after; you’re in the way. You’re obstructing,” before the audio feed was cut.
A supporter, who spoke to the Morning Star on condition of anonymity, insisted yesterday that the protests would “definitely go on, Sean or no Sean”.
The group’s campaign against heartless privateer Atos has already seen activists occupy a Glasgow 2014 merchandise shop and Games sponsors’ offices.
Campaigners even rained “blood money” on the city’s Labour council in their bid to get the IT giant dropped from the Games sponsor list.
Campaigners say thousands of people have died within weeks of having their disability benefits stopped by Atos assessors deeming them “fit for work.”
At London 2012 Paralympic athletes hid their branded lanyards at the opening ceremony, while Sport Disability Scotland told MSPs in April of athletes who could no longer afford to continue their sporting careers after losing out to an assessment.
Mr Clerkin was released on bail on the condition that he doesn’t go within 200 metres of any Glasgow 2014 event.
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