Election 2021

The Scottish Parliament is in recess ahead of the election on 6 May.

Because of Covid-19, there are some changes to how the Parliament prepares for the election.

Find out more in our Election 2021 pages

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Organising a protest

We are an open and accessible Parliament. We recognise the importance of peaceful protests and demonstrations. This page has information on:

  • planning a protest
  • why we might refuse permission to protest
  • our code of conduct for protests

The Scottish Parliament’s land is owned and managed by the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (“SPCB”). The SPCB has agreed a code of conduct for anyone organising or attending a protest.

Planning a protest

If you are planning a protest at the Parliament, please contact us as soon as possible. We will work with you to make sure your protest protects the rights of everyone visiting, working, and living in and around the Parliament.

You can contact the Parliament’s Police Unit or Security Office.

  • Police: 0131 348 5126 or 0131 348 6567, Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm 
  • Security Office: 0131 348 5583, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

When you contact us, we will ask for:

  • your name
  • your contact details
  • information about what the protest is about
  • plans for the protest (for example who might be speaking)
  • how many people you think will attend
  • how you are advertising the protest

We will discuss arrangements you have made for the safety of people at the protest. We will explain the health and safety requirements we have for anyone using Parliament land.

We usually give permission to protest on Parliament land. If we cannot, we will explain why. If any aspect of your proposed protest causes us concern, we will discuss this with you and to try to find a solution.

Why we might refuse permission

The Parliament building, resources and land are owned and managed by the SPCB. The SPCB is strictly politically neutral, which means it does not give any advantage to any political party.

Because of this, protests on SPCB property must not be for or against a political party. However you are welcome to protest about issues that are not party political.

If your protest is about an election or referendum and takes place in the restricted period before the vote, we may have to refuse permission. This is because certain restrictions apply during this time.

We will also refuse permission if your protest involves:

  • camping
  • collecting for charities
  • an unreasonable duration and impact on other people who want to use the land
  • If any aspect of your proposed protest causes us concern, we will discuss this with you and to try to find a solution.

What we expect from you and your protest

The SPCB has published a Code of Conduct for protests and demonstrations at the Parliament. All protesters are required to comply with the Code.

You should make sure you and anyone attending the protest are aware of the conditions in the Code of Conduct.  Depending on what your protest will involve (for example if you wish to bring equipment onto the land), you may need to comply with additional conditions.


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