Stop plans to blow up tower blocks as part of Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.
  • Petitioned Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government

This petition was delivered to:

Leader of Glasgow City Council
Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government
Kate McCheyne
Commonwealth Games Committee via PR office
Scottish Government
Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport and Gordon Matheson, Glasgow City Council
Chief Executive, GHA
Martin Armstrong
Chair, GHA
Gordon Sloan

Stop plans to blow up tower blocks as part of Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

    1. Carolyn Leckie
    2. Petition by

      Carolyn Leckie

      East Kilbride, United Kingdom

April 2014


From the petition creator: Very pleased that the organisers of the Commonwealth Games, the leaders and politicians have listened to people, responded and changed their minds. The demolition of the Red Road Flats will not now form part of the opening ceremony. This is excellent news for democracy. Thanks to everyone who wrote, spoke and campaigned to ensure respect to the community and current and present residents. Special thanks to Len Bunton for his prolific letter writing, telephoning and tenacity.

The Red Road flats have shaped Glasgow's skyline for five decades and housed many families. People from around the world have many memories of living there. But their former homes are to be demolished as part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. 

Five of six remaining blocks of flats will be blown up in just 15 seconds – an event described by organisers as the biggest demolition of its kind ever seen in Europe. But one block, housing refugees and asylum seekers, will be left. Those residents and surrounding residents (approx 900) are to be evacuated and offered a free ticket to watch the demolition on a big screen.  

The blocks’ final few moments will be beamed live into the ceremony at Celtic Park as well as to an estimated TV audience of more than one billion people around the world.

The five tower blocks will be brought down simultaneously, by 2,755lb of explosives, necessitating an exclusion zone, road blocks and the prospect of widespread dust.  

Many people are dismayed by this proposal. The reasons are many: the disrespect displayed by blowing up homes for entertainment; the mixed and complex message of 'regeneration' by destruction; the insult to the families remaining in the sixth block; the disruption to families and the city at the time of a huge event; the uncertainty around safety in the context of such a big demolition project; the additional pressure placed on public services when the city will be welcoming thousands of international visitors. 

Even if there is some support for the proposal, it is clearly now a fact that it has polarised people. Surely, it was never the intention of the organisers to deliver such a disuniting opening to the Commonwealth Games. 

Recent signatures


    1. Demolition stopped as part of opening ceremony

      Carolyn Leckie
      Petition Organizer

      Sorry, this news was posted on Sunday but due to technical difficulties has not appeared.

      Thank you everyone for supporting this campaign. Many, many people took the time to write their comments, write letters, phone radio programmes, contact media. Particularly, people in the community let their local officials and politicians know they were not too happy about not being consulted.

      The organisers of the ceremony talked a lot of Glaswegians' passion and 'gallusness'. This is not an abstract thing. They have now experienced it in gritty reality.

      Special thanks to Len Bunton for his prolific letter writing, phone calling and tenacity.

      Issues still remain for Glasgow - will current regeneration actually address underlying inequality and poverty? 47% of children in Glasgow live in poverty.

      Will asylum seeking families be given housing that EVERYONE would be happy to live in?

      Promises have been made. We hope they're fulfilled.

      Thanks again,


    2. Reached 15,000 signatures
    3. 14000 and growing

      Carolyn Leckie
      Petition Organizer

      Although we have had encouraging signs of a willingness to listen from the Commonwealth Games organising committee, the plan is still to demolish the Red Road flats as part of the ceremony. We still need signatures. And we still need your comments - which have been amazing.

      The Change staff set targets for achieving signatures. THIS IS NOT A CAP. We need to keep increasing support as long as it takes to change the minds of the triumvirate of decision makers: the organising committee, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government.

      There has been incredible media interest over the last week. Supporters have been writing letters to a broad range of officials and politicians. A freedom of information request has been submitted by Len Bunton.

      I can't imagine anyone connected with organising the Games wants a divided crowd watching the opening ceremony. If they pursue their plan, they risk a significant section of the crowd jeering instead of cheering.

      Keep sharing.

    4. Reached 12,500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • 7 months ago

      Glasgow will be seen world wide, are we really suggesting that blowing up tower blocks is a fitting centre piece of such an international sporting spectacle. Come on we can do better than that, surely.

      • 7 months ago

      Thank you Carolyn for organising this petition and representing us all so well. Much appreciated!

    • elizabeth hay MINARD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 months ago

      No society should celebrate its failures

    • hugh nicol GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 months ago

      it is not a good idea to blow up flats in what is a sporting event

      • 7 months ago

      Glad it has been dropped - it was really in bad taste to think such action was appropriate to show a world stage.


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