Strathclyde Police admitted officers had stopped activists using the word "cult" after receiving a complaint.I've seen the protesters out several times in recent weeks. As far as I can tell they have not hindered the public using Buchanan Street nor have they prevented the Scientologists from organising their "free stress tests". They have simply held up placards and worn masks. They may have used some chants but if so I've not witnessed that. To me, it seems they have done nothing wrong and the police have failed to justify their action.
A spokeswoman said: "The word is not a breach of the peace in itself. However, in this case it was exacerbating the situation and our stance was that we had to remove that.
"From a policing point of view, a balance has to be struck between the right to assemble and hold a meeting and other persons' rights to go about their business or demonstrate without being obstructed or hindered."
If someone you're protesting against can get the police to remove your placards simply because they (claim to) find a word on the placard offensive, then it seems to me the right to peaceful protest is dead.