Socialist Worker

Thousands rally one year after Scottish independence vote

by Andrew Draffen
Issue No. 2472

Independence campaigners in Glasgow’s George Square last Saturday

Independence campaigners in Glasgow’s George Square last Saturday (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Up to 10,000 Scottish independence campaigners rallied in Glasgow’s George Square last Saturday to mark one year on from the referendum. 

The event was organised by Hope Over Fear and led by socialist Tommy Sheridan. 

It brought together trade unionists, Scottish National Party (SNP) supporters and Greens as well as pro-refugee campaigners and anti-Trident activists. 

There were united calls for a second referendum. However there were also arguments around electoral strategy and left unity. 

Kevin, a fast food worker who joined the SNP after last year’s referendum, agrees with the position of Hope Over Fear.

This calls for everyone to unite behind the SNP. 

He told Socialist Worker, “We all need to lend our votes to the SNP next year to ensure that we have a government in Scotland which is capable of delivering a second referendum. We can’t split the vote.”

Not everyone agreed with this strategy. 

Some called for a united non-sectarian left to not only fight for independence but also to fight Tory austerity which the SNP has implemented in councils across Scotland.

Clare, a teacher, told Socialist Worker, “I don’t think it is a good idea to call for socialists to vote for the SNP next year. 

“We can fight the Tories now. We can oppose austerity now. We can’t wait another five years for a referendum, we need to build a united left now which attacks the rich and not the poor.”

Anger at the Labour Party was still palpable on the day. 

Sarah, a college student from Glasgow, told Socialist Worker, “I struggle to see how they will win back the voters they have lost in working class communities”. 

Others believe that Jeremy Corbyn’s recent victory is a reflection of a wider political struggle across the Britain. 

 John, a retired public sector worker, told Socialist Worker, “The Labour Party now has a leader who will oppose Tory austerity, attacks on the poor and the trade union bill.

“He may even force the SNP to the left on certain issues such as wealth redistribution and nationalisation of the railways.” 

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