The Scotsman

Woman raped at protest campsite

- Martyn MCLAUGHLIN

A YOUNG woman was allegedly raped in a tent at an anti-capitalist demonstrat­ion in Glasgow’s George Square.

The 28-year-old was attacked in the city’s Occupy Glasgow settlement, where protesters are campaignin­g as part of a global “anti-greed movement”.

The woman is understood to be homeless and part of a smaller group of people who joined the demonstrat­ion to receive food and shelter.

Witnesses claimed a group of men had been standing outside one of the tents after the alleged rape, boasting about having had sex with the woman. Police are looking for two men in their 20s and believe they are known to the victim.

OCCUPANTS of a peaceful protest in the heart of Glasgow city centre said they were “shocked and disgusted” after a young woman was allegedly raped at their campsite.

Demonstrat­ors said the 28year-old was attacked in the main Occupy Glasgow settlement, where dozens of people have been campaignin­g as part of a global “anti-greed movement” around the world.

It is understood she was sexually assaulted in a tent at the makeshift site, which has taken over a corner of the city’s George Square, opposite the headquarte­rs of Glasgow City Council.

Organisers of the protest said the “vulnerable” woman had been welcomed to the camp earlier in the week after turning up in the middle of the night in a “very weakened state”.

In the wake of the attack, which took place between 9pm and midnight on tuesday evening, those behind the protests vowed to work alongside police to find those responsibl­e.

However, the alleged serious sexual assault has prompted criticism of those behind Occupy Glasgow, with calls for the protest which began on 15 October to be wound up.

Strathclyd­e Police appealed for witnesses who may have seen two suspects who may have been known to the victim.

It is understood the woman was homeless and was part of a smaller group of people who joined the Occupy Glasgow movement partly to receive food and shelter. those behind the protest had earlier asked police for advice as to how best to deal with any “unrest or violence” from a “disruptive element”.

One protester, who did not wish to be named, said a group of people had turned up at the camp – a cluster of around 25 tents – earlier in the week.

“there was alcohol involved and the group wasn’t strictly protesting in the same way other people were, but they were allowed to come in,” the demonstrat­or said. “there wasn’t violence of any kind that I saw, but when I heard about what happened I was just appalled.”

Earlier, witnesses claimed a group of men, thought to have been from the east end of Glasgow, had been standing outside one of the tents, boasting about having had sex with the woman.

Yesterday afternoon, about nine tents in the camp were cordoned off with police tape, as officers stood guard.

Grant thistle, a member of Occupy Glasgow, said: “unfortu-

“When I heard about what happened I was just appalled” Occupy Glasgow protester

nately, at 12:45am on Wednesday morning, Strathclyd­e Police were called to the Occupy Glasgow camp regarding serious allegation­s made by a member of our community.

“a vulnerable member of the community, who has not yet received the appropriat­e care or services they require by the wider community, was attacked.

the victim had been welcomed to the camp earlier in the week after turning up a very weakened state.

“Occupiers are working with the police to ensure justice be brought upon those responsibl­e and also ensure the safety of the public is paramount during this peaceful protest.”

Macarena andrews, a spokeswoma­n for Occupy Glasgow, said police had been routinely checking the camp late at night.

the twosuspect­s are described as aged between 20 and 30 years old, both 6ft and of slim build. One had short, spiky blond hair and one had short dark hair.

a council spokesman said they were negotiatin­g with the occupiers in an attempt to move them to a site elsewhere in the city, such as Kelvingrov­e Park or Glasgow Green. He added that leaflets and helpline numbers have been distribute­d to any homeless or “vulnerable” people living in the tents.

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 ?? Picture: Robert Perry ?? Officers hunt for clues near the scene of the rape in Glasgow’s George square. Police are looking for two men who boasted about having sex with the woman
Picture: Robert Perry Officers hunt for clues near the scene of the rape in Glasgow’s George square. Police are looking for two men who boasted about having sex with the woman
 ??  ?? The Glasgow camp mirrors the larger protest in London
The Glasgow camp mirrors the larger protest in London

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