A day of street stalls, leafleting and door-to-door canvassing for independence took place across Scotland last Saturday.
In Edinburgh up to 160 people turned out to campaign, organised by the pro-independence campaign Yes Scotland. In Glasgow around 800 people attended a “Yes in the Park” event with speeches, stalls and music.
Scores of public meetings, stalls and canvassing events happen every week.
Polls still put the No vote ahead but the gap has narrowed considerably this year. And one recent poll suggests far more undecided voters are moving towards Yes.
Socialist Worker spoke to campaigners and voters in Edinburgh about the referendum campaign.
Marilyn Nicholl is not an experienced activist or a member of a political party. She said, “This is a new thing for me but I feel I have to do something active.”
The argument that voting Yes would mean an end to a Tory government went down well with Marilyn. She said, “I think Scotland should do anything it can to avoid getting another Margaret Thatcher.”
Glyn Davies’ reason for voting Yes was simple—“I want to live in a country that makes its own decisions.”
The intervention by US president Barack Obama last week supporting the British state annoyed Glyn, who marched against the war in Iraq.
“It’s all about US foreign policy for Obama—he wants to keep Trident nuclear weapons here,” he said. “The priority for me is a better way of life, certainly for my grandchildren.
“If you’re not spending money on the military in Afghanistan, Iraq or on Trident for example, you’ve then got the money to spend on people and peace.”
Ewan and Hayley stopped to discuss their vote at a stall in Portobello in south Edinburgh.
Hayley told Socialist Worker, “People assume because I’m English that I’d automatically vote No. But I have an open mind about it, though I’m yet to be convinced.
“Politicians are so professional and polished now you have to wonder about the sincerity of what they are saying.”
Hayley said what would convince her would be a clear commitment on funding public services and renationalising the railways.
Opposition to austerity is strengthening the Yes Campaign.
Ewan agreed. “Definitely putting more money into hospitals, education and housing–putting public money back into the public,” he said.
“They should be building affordable housing for people and building schools.”
Pro-independence activist Roddy McNulty from east Edinburgh explained that he got involved in the campaign after watching a speech by socialist campaigner Tommy Sheridan online.
“Four months ago I found the campaign slightly uninspiring,” he said. “But Tommy argued for a vision of how Scotland could be different.
“That inspired me to get active. I’m doing this for social justice— and we’re not going to get that with Westminster.”