GLASGOW City Council has rejected an application for a massive pro-independence rally in George Square on September 19.

Hope Over Fear, which has organised pro-independence rallies in the square twice since the referendum, were told their request for permission had been rejected after the council took advice from Police Scotland.

The National understand a group of Unionists which had also applied to organise a rally onSeptember 19 had their request turned down too. Although it is not clear which pro-Unionist group applied for the permission, the Orange Order has categorically denied it did.

Another group, the Scottish Recovery Consortium, a charity which promotes recovery from drink and drug addiction, plans to march through Glasgow city centre on the date.

George Square was the sight of ugly scenes last year on September 19 after Unionist protesters goaded, attacked and abused pro-independence supporters who had gathered in the wake of the referendum defeat. Mounted police and a helicopter were drafted in to tackle the thugs, who let off flares, gave Nazi salutes and started fights.

The last Hope Over Fear rally on April 25 was also refused permission to use George Square by Glasgow City Council. The organisers claim that refusal came at 5.30pm on April 24, making it near-impossible to cancel the rally.

The council claim permission was turned down for the April rally after two separate applications were made by different parts of the group.

Tommy Sheridan, one of the founding members of the Hope Over Fear independence campaign, pointed out that the last rally was attended by thousands and went off peacefully. The former MSP claimed the decision was clearly political.

“Yet again the Unionist majority on Glasgow City Council seem hell bent on making it difficult to assemble in George Square and register support for Scotland’s freedom and independence. They obstructed us from assembling last October and again in April this year. It is the sort of political bias and interference that would be at home in North Korea or China.”

Sheridan continued: “September 19 is the anniversary of 1.6 million Scots defying bullying and scaremongering from the British state.

“We were Yes last year and we are still Yes now. We will assemble peacefully but proudly and proclaim that hope of a new and better Scotland will eventually conquer the fear of change. Others who oppose independence are free to assemble on a different day. September 19 is the day Glasgow says collectively ‘We Are Still Yes.’”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “Two different groups both asked to use George Square to hold separate rallies on September 19 this year. “After taking advice from police, who raised public order concerns, we have decided to decline both requests to use George Square on this date.”

One Glasgow Labour councillor dismissed Sheridan’s claims the decision was political. “It is utter nonsense,” the councillor told The National. “These applications are purely administrative and would never go anywhere near elected members”.