Clashes Erupt in Glasgow Square Following Pro-UK Vote
Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond steps down as tensions between voters rise
As Scotland voted against independence from the United Kingdom, rival supporters crowded into Glasgow's George Square on Friday in what became a contentious gathering quickly broken up by police officers.
According to a police spokeswoman, about 200 people total converged on the city's central plaza, although they were dispersed shortly. Police launched flares and Unionists waved U.K. flags in the air as they faced off with independence voters. According to the BBC, the confrontation started with a "coordinated" push from pro-Unionists. Peter Adam Smith, a journalist with STV News, posted a vine that captured some pro-U.K. demonstrators using Nazi salutes:
This is George Square. https://t.co/qgf7BN7DrI
— Peter A Smith (@PeterAdamSmith) September 19, 2014
The confrontation in the square followed a surprise in parliament as Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Alex Salmond announced his sudden resignation, telling a press conference, "Right now there is a decision as to who is best placed to lead this process forward politically."
"I believe that in this new exciting situation, redolent with possibility, party, parliament and country would benefit from new leadership," Salmond said.
Salmond had previously said he would stay on as SNP leader through 2016, but on Friday told reporters he would not accept a new nomination at the party's annual conference in November. He is likely to be succeeded by his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, whom he appointed to lead the referendum process.
Updates and photos of George Square were being tracked on Twitter: