Socialist Worker

Scottish Independence march defies council

Issue No. 2774

Marching for independence

Marching for independence

Around 3,500 Scottish independence supporters marched in Edinburgh last Saturday on a demonstration called by All Under One Banner (AUOB).

This was far from the size of the Edinburgh demo of 2019 which attracted around 200,000.

It was, however, the biggest show of strength by the independence movement in Scotland since the start of the pandemic.

The demonstration took place despite the best efforts of the police and Edinburgh Council.

AUOB first submitted a request for a march in January, moved the date forward by a week because of a request from council officials, changed the route again at the request of the council, and then AUOB’s final route was refused on Friday.

The council had originally said they were refusing AUOB their chosen route because of objections by the police, who subsequently removed their opposition.

The demonstration went ahead on a new route, with a short sit-down protest at the start by demonstrators as a protest at the council decision.

In a statement about the council and police prevarication and obstruction, AUOB said, “This is an attack on the independence movement’s right to demonstrate.”

It was also an attack on the right to, “raise the issue of Scottish independence with the wider public, yet Edinburgh Council is controlled by a joint SNP/Labour administration.”

Along with the Scottish government’s decision to invoke home office powers to limit access to protests on the grounds of the Scottish Parliament, this is a serious attack on the right to protest in Scotland.

Some speakers from the platform, including Hector Sierra from the Socialist Workers Party, highlighted the need for supporters of independence to build support for the 6November demo at Cop26.

All Under One Banner is mobilising an Indy bloc on that protest and encouraging independence supporters to turn up in large numbers.

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