In an unusual turn of events on the 17th of August, visitors to Edinburgh Castle were told to evacuate as a collection of disgruntled protesters entered the tourist hotspot claiming they were putting the Castle back in the hands of the people. This was in an effort to take the Castle away from the government, who they accuse of committing high treason against the people of the Commonwealth.
In a 13 minute video released by one of the protesters, police can be seen talking to the group and asking them what their objectives are. One officer replied ‘no worries’ once the woman recording him explained they were seizing the Castle to end ‘800 years of enslavement’ by ‘fake monarchies and fake governments.’ They claimed to have a legal right to take the castle under article 61 of the Magna Carta, which they interpreted as giving the people the right to reclaim property from a corrupt government.
However, this interpretation of the article misses out on some crucial details. For one, only four articles from the Magna Carta still have relevance today, and these are aimed towards general personal liberties rather than specific legislation. Furthermore, the article in question was removed a year after it was written, and even before then, it only applied to 25 barons. As a final point, the Magna Carta predates the Treaty of Union, meaning that it has never applied to Scottish law.
When asked how many more protesters they were expecting, one woman said it was not a case of more people, but ‘the whole United Kingdom’.
The crowd eventually dispersed, with Superintendent Gerry Corrigan stating that ‘one man was arrested for disorder related offences and a police officer sustained minor injuries during this arrest’.