Activists across Scotland staged a day of action for independence on Saturday.
Supporters of the new membership organisation Now Scotland and the All Under One Banner (AUOB) protest movement held rallies and street stalls in numerous cities and towns. They included Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy.
Despite the demands of election campaigning and the continued Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland, more than 200 people joined AUOB’s socially-distanced rally in George Square in Glasgow.
Charlotte Ahmed, a socialist member of Now Scotland’s national organising committee, was cheered when she told the rally, “Our independence has to be in our hands.
“We won’t wait for permission from Westminster.”
Annie from Extinction Rebellion (XR) argued that an independent Scotland must “create and implement a just transition” to a carbon neutral economy.
She said no workers in industries such as oil, gas and aviation should lose their jobs as part of the transition.
Govan shipyard worker John Brown agreed, calling for the skills of Scotland’s industrial workers to be used in a massive expansion of sustainable energy technologies.
He also welcomed the recent announcement by the Scottish TUC union federation that it supported a second independence referendum—with or without the agreement of the British government.
John called on the independence movement to “win the hearts and minds of organised labour in Scotland”.
He said that the SNP’s strategy was “playing games with the middle classes, reassuring them, and having the Duke of Buccleuch’s factor on your main economic body”. And that this would not win over working class people.
John was referring to Benny Higgins, the former CEO of Tesco Bank and the man currently charged with managing the massive wealth of Richard Scott, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch.
His leading role in formulating SNP economic policy is a symbol of the party’s neoliberalism.
The day of action ended in the evening with a Now Scotland online rally, which put a strong emphasis on grassroots activism and a refusal to wait for SNP politicians.
Speakers at the rally included Gerry Carroll, socialist member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for the People Before Profit party.
Gerry said that support for a united Ireland was growing in Northern Ireland, including among people from Protestant backgrounds. He argued that fighting for a united Ireland and working class demands should be combined in the struggle for a socialist republic.
As Scotland comes out of lockdown, these are the politics that socialists will seek to put at the heart of the independence movement.
It is important that there is a strong vote for independence in the May 6 election. And Socialist Worker says, “Vote left—fight for independence,” in the Scottish parliamentary elections.
But the struggle for an independent Scotland that brings real social change will take place in the workplaces, on the streets and in working class communities.