Protests for Scottish independence are set for Saturday as the battle continues to keep the movement on the streets.
A rally called by the All Under One Banner group is planned for George Square in Glasgow. It’s part of a day of action called by Now Scotland that will also see protests outside the parliament in Edinburgh and in Dundee.
As the 6 May Scottish election campaign is entering its final stages, the pro-independence parties say a referendum is a key issue to vote on.
The Scottish Tories and Labour Party say only a high vote for them can stop a second independence referendum (indyref2).
Meanwhile the mainstream media have entered a panic mode, speculating what Scottish independence will mean for the currently fragile British state.
Polls say the Scottish National Party (SNP) is on course to win another majority, with Labour and the Tories falling far behind.
The SNP will claim this as a mandate for another referendum, but it has no intention of really fighting for it.
Boris Johnson has repeatedly stated he won’t allow the vote to take place whilst he’s prime minister.
The SNP manifesto says 2023 is the earliest a vote could take place.
And recently first minister Nicola Sturgeon said a referendum may have to be delayed until 2024 or beyond because of delays caused by coronavirus.
Sturgeon is quite comfortable maintaining the SNP’s present role of managing capitalism in Scotland.
The SNP has a large apparatus entrenched in institutions that are embedded in the British state. Their political and economic privileges depend on that.
Left to its own devices, the party won’t do anything that jeopardises its current position.
The newly-launched Alba party accuses the SNP of not going far enough.
Its manifesto includes a sentence about encouraging “peaceful demonstrations and direct action”. But the thrust of it is the same focus on parliamentary and legal manoeuvres.
The Scottish TUC last week confirmed support for indyref2 and the idea that the Scottish Parliament should have the power to organise it without permission from Westminster.
It should be the right of ordinary people in Scotland to decide if a referendum happens.
The protests this weekend have to be a launchpad for much bigger mobilisations after the election. And they have to be linked to class issues such as austerity, poverty, anti-racism and action over the climate.
If there’s majority support for independence on 6 May, no excuses from the SNP should be accepted. There must be maximum pressure on to set an immediate date for indyref2.
If there is an independent Scotland with the SNP in charge, it will rejoin the European Union (EU).
And it will happen without a referendum.
That means any notion of independence would be hugely undermined by the EU’s demands.
The EU could set borrowing limits, dictate what currency Scotland uses, impose migration laws and relentlessly push businesses interests over the interests of ordinary people.
As Ireland has shown after Brexit, the EU will insist on a hard border with England if one country is in the EU and the other isn’t.
It’s outrageous that the SNP would implement such a major shift without broad democratic debate and voting.
Strikes at 68 universities
Agency workers would be paid more
A racist Tory bill
Many people are already missing bill payments