By Héctor Sierra and Raymie Kiernan
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2795

Scottish independence march says ‘make poverty history’

Marchers also discussed how to win a world without war
Issue 2795
Dozens of Scottish independence supporters with Saltires march behind a large banner saying Make Poverty History

On the march in Paisley for Scottish independence on Saturday

Over 2,000 people joined a march for independence in Paisley on Saturday under the slogan “Make Poverty History”.

It was the first of nine marches across Scotland this year. In an attempt to link independence to wider social issues, organisers All Under One Banner (AUOB) has said each of the marches will have a theme. The march assembled near some of Scotland’s most deprived areas. And it coincided with a day of action called by the People’s Assembly over the cost of living crisis.

Organiser Neil McKay told Socialist Worker, “The turnout shows the urgency to achieve independence so that we can make poverty history. It also showed the strength of solidarity for people in Ukraine and conflicts around the world and the need to create a different society so that we can live in peace, and without a nuclear threat.”

The rally was opened by local SNP councillor Kenny MacLaren who spoke about the need to address poverty and soaring prices for basic goods.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also featured in speeches and discussions on the march. Speaking at the rally, a local councillor said, “Russia out of Ukraine, Scotland out of Nato”’. Stop the War activist Angela McCormick encouraged all to join the global day of action against war on Sunday.

Anti-war and anti-racist campaigner Mohammad Asif called on first minister Nicola Sturgeon to set a date for indyref2. He said the Ukrainian crisis underlined the need to create “a society that welcomes new Scots like me and welcomes all refugees”.

Now Scotland campaign member Charlotte Ahmed encouraged people to revolt against the war. She asked, “How many of you feel safer knowing that nuclear weapons are stationed at Faslane? Get rid of those weapons and the system that keeps them there”.

She added, ‘I hope to see tens of thousands of you at the march for independence in Glasgow on 14 May.”

It’s good to see larger numbers on an AUOB march and the link to working class issues. But independence does not guarantee any assault on neoliberalism and inequality.

The Scottish National Party is committed to cautious and piecemeal reform, not overthrowing class divisions and capitalist priorities. It cosies up to the bosses rather than confronting them.

Figures released last month showed that the richest 10 percent of people in Scotland are more than 200 times wealthier than the poorest 10 percent. The reality of capitalist Scotland is poverty for many, fabulous wealth for a few

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