Scottish police made a handful of arrests Thursday amid scattered reports of violence and graffiti. The minor unrest did not reflect the mass chaos predicted by some pro-union leaders ahead of the historic independence referendum that could see Scotland become a sovereign nation for the first time in more than 300 years.
Marie Rimmer, a "No" campaigner and former Labour party Councillor from Liverpool, was arrested in Glasglow for reportedly kicked a woman at a polling station. Police Scotland confirmed that Rimmer, 67, was “arrested and charged in connection with an alleged assault on a female following an incident at Shettleston Community Centre" in Glasglow.
That incident came hours after an unidentified "Yes" supporter reportedly punched Lawrence O’Neill, a "No" campaigner and member of the West Dunbartonshire Council, outside a polling station in Glasglow. Jackie Baillie, a member of the Scottish Parliament for Dumbarton, tweeted out the allegation along with photos of violent pro-independence graffiti in Jameston.
â€” Emma Kinloch (@emmakinloch) September 18, 2014
â€” Jackie Baillie (@jackiebmsp) September 18, 2014
Earlier this week, two 18-year-old men were charged with assault after police said a 48-year-old man was attacked Sunday outside outside a pro-independence concert in Edinburgh. Franz Ferdinand and Mogwai were among the headliners at the sell-out event, according to BBC News.
A major Scottish police group sought to quell worries Wednesday that the vote would break out into riots after some political figures predicted unrest. Scottish Police Federation Chairman Brian Docherty warned in a statement of “the exaggerated rhetoric that is being deployed with increased frequency.”
Docherty urged politicians and journalists to be careful about their words and "maintain level heads." “Respect is not demonstrated by suggesting a minority of mindless idiots are representative of anything,” he said.
The real test comes Thursday night as thousands of Scots flock to pubs to prepare for the results. Some local leaders have refused to allow for late licenses or extended hours overnight. But some pubs will stay open overnight.
Compbio division members anticipating Scottish referendum result in George Orwell pub dundee pic.twitter.com/y1z2sJlvZx
â€” Geoff Barton (@gjbarton) September 18, 2014
Some pubs are even advertising “referendum watching parties.”
â€” Joseph Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) September 17, 2014