Red Clydeside: A history of the labour movement in Glasgow 1910-1932


Glasgow's leading law officers inspect the scene in George Square following the riot, 31 Jan 1919

image from Red Clydeside collection

Sheriff MacKenzie (fifth from left), Chief Constable Stevenson (second from left) and other leading Glasgow law officers look on immediately after the reading of the Riot Act in George Square on 'Bloody Friday'.

The reading of the Riot Act was the traditional method used by police authorities to disperse crowds of protesters. Anyones left loitering with intent after the reading of the Act was liable for arrest.

Sheriff MacKenzie's attempts to read the Riot Act during the 'Battle of George Square' proved unsuccessful, as the crowd tore the Act from him as was in the process of reading it. The rioting between the police and the crowd continued in the square, in the surrounding streets and on Glasgow Green.

Source: Glasgow Trades Council Collection, Glasgow City Archives