Thousands march for independence

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Credit: Jordan Hunter

Jordan Hunter
Reporter

80,000 protesters march for Scottish independence in Glasgow.

Around 80,000 people marched from Kelvingrove Park to Glasgow Green on 11 January in a demonstration for Scottish independence.

The event was organised by All Under One Banner, a Scottish independence activist group, that anticipated 100,000 marchers. The rain possibly deterred many from coming and caused the group to cancel the planned rally at the end of the march.

The march was the first of eight planned by the group for the coming year. This comes after the SNP’s electoral success and renewed calls for IndyRef2. First minister Nicola Sturgeon has campaigned for a referendum later this year, but prime minister Boris Johnson, after the Conservatives’ election victory, has made a “cast-iron pledge” to reject any independence referendums that would break up the UK. Sturgeon has since discussed the possibility of legally challenging the PM.

“I think the last election highlighted and exacerbated the political differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK,” said University of Glasgow student Findlay Crawford. “I hope that the march today sends a message to Boris Johnson and the UK Government that despite them appearing to put their fingers in their ears to the question of IndyRef2, there is a democratic mandate for it.”

The protest included different groups outside the SNP supporters, including Socialists, Greens, Welsh Nationalists and Dogs for Yes. Since the general election, more left-leaning groups have joined the IndyRef movement.

Former Labour leadership hopeful, Clive Lewis, said that he supports the idea of a second referendum.

“There should be no question of Labour opposing a second independence referendum if there is a mandate to hold one,” Lewis said.

Far less counter-protesters attended the event compared to the 200 in George Square last November when Sturgeon spoke.

In response to the Union counter-protesters at the event, barista Andrew Hughes said: “There’s thousands of us and only 20 or so of them. This clearly shows that there’s the support; it’s only a matter of time.”

Sturgeon has yet to speak at a march since becoming first minister, but with tensions rising and more marches to come, many believe that it is coming soon. The next march in Glasgow is planned for 2 May.