HUNDREDS gathered in London for an anti-censorship march in support of the Scots prankster fined £800 for hate crimes after releasing a viral video in which he trains his dog to Sieg Heil and react to the phrase "gas the Jews".

The march came after Mark Meechan, 30, was fined £800 after being found guilty at Airdrie Sheriff Court of communicating a video which was deemed to be "grossly offensive" and in breach of the Communications Act.

The Free Count Dankula demonstration, named after Meechan's online pseudonym, was organised by The Liberalists UK, who describe themselves as a "mix of centre-left (social liberal) and centre-right (classical liberal) individualists"

HeraldScotland:

The Free Count Dankula demonstration, named after Meechan's online pseudonym, involved around 500 marchers led by five demonstrators with duck tape over their mouths and a banner declaring 'You wouldn't tell a joke'.

But there was disquiet over police filming the demonstration as people gathered in Leicester Square.

READ MORE: Mark Meechan given £800 fine for hate crime after filming pug giving 'Nazi salutes'

One member of the group confronted police with a megpahone saying: "What on earth are you doing. Why on earth are you filming a bunch of people who have gathered to try and stop you people from imprisoning us for making jokes...

"It is very suspicious behaviour."

HeraldScotland:

HeraldScotland:

One police officer who discussed the issue with the protesters said that officers were live streaming the demonstration back to the control room to monitor what was happening.

"We do tend to film large demonstrations," she said. "Everybody has a democratic right to protest," she said. "We are trying to safeguard that."

Bagpipes played for the march to Downing Street in a protest over the right to be offensive in a joke.

READ MORE: Free speech row as Scots 'Nazi dog' film maker found guilty of being grossly offensive online

One placard said, "Free Count Dankula" and another said, "Freedom is in peril. Defend it with all your might." Another placard which had the headline, 'Countries where comedians can be sent to jail for a joke' placed Scotland alongside Russia under Stalin and Germany under Adolf Hitler Some protesters wore blue t-shirts saying: "Comedy censorship: It's No Joke".

HeraldScotland:

One of the demonstrators warned the crowd about police in the area adding: "Be careful what you say. You do not want to say anything that the police might be able to interpret, that might upset anyone, or might alarm somebody.. just be nice to everyone. Just say, 'I love you all'. The Liberalists UK said the fact Meechan had faced jail time for making a joke "is not acceptable in a liberal democracy".

In an invited to join the march, the group added: "It is a gross violation of the principle of free speech and liberty in this country and sets a dangerous precedent for the future. It is dangerous not least because what counts as ‘grossly offensive’ is vague and necessarily ill defined.

"We invite you to protest this grossly offensive miscarriage of justice and march to Downing Street."

Among those who spoke at the march were Australian author Helen Dale who became the youngest winner of the Miles Franklin Award for her first novel, The Hand that Signed the Paper, a novel about a Ukrainian family who collaborated with the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Ben Brown of Liberalists UK told the crowd: "I am here because I believe what has happened to Dankula is merely a symptom. A symptom of a sick society."

Meechan, from Coatbridge insists his two-year-old M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi video featuring his pug Buddha, which has been viewed more than three million times, was merely meant as a joke to wind up his girlfriend.

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