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The Gathering #2

The Gathering #2

The Gathering #1

The first Gathering was held in May this year and it saw the coming together of many hundreds of Indy campaigners, representing YES groups from all over the country. On the 24th of November it happened all over again. Organisers, National Yes Registry (NYR), named this Gathering Independence Reframed & Evaluating the Growth Commission, but unofficially called it How We Win!

It was a very early start for attendees from the Highlands, with many of us taking advantage of the minibus arranged by Yes Ross & Sutherland. Spirits were high as we gathered and set off from Tore at 5:30am, driving through darkness and thick fog to arrive in good time for the 9:30am start in the Albert Halls, Stirling.

Keith Brown, deputy leader of the SNP, was asked to open the event with an address about the recently published Sustainable Growth Commission (SGC) report, in which he acknowledged the concerns that many have voiced over the currency section. He also applauded NYR for opening discussion of the report to such a wide audience, and told us that this would be the biggest consultation on the report outside of the SNP.

Jim Mather, former Scottish Government minister addresses Gathering #2

Following Keith, Jim Mather, former Scottish Government minister and member of the SGC spoke of the aspirations of the report: good financial management and optimising all of Scotland’s potential. His hope for the future of Scottish politics is that parties will work together for the national interest in a partnership rather than competing to score political points with voters. He emphasised that the SGC report is not a finished article, but merely a starting point for the conversation on Scotland’s future, and saw that conversation as presenting a fun and exciting challenge.

Now it was time to get down to business, so Eddie and Jason, founders of NYR, introduced us to the new version of the IndyApp (available at https://nationalyesregistry.scot). The app has been extensively developed since its first launch, with an improved interface and additional functionality. Using IndyApp 2.0, YES groups all over the country can communicate with each other, share ideas and work collaboratively on projects. The main aim of the day was to begin a conversation on a variety of topics relating to an independent Scotland. These conversations will inform our campaign to convince the population and also bring together the grassroots contribution to submissions on the SGC report. The IndyApp will allow any member of a YES group to provide input on any of the topics.

Having previously been assigned table numbers at random, delegates were then set to work in small groups on one of 17 topics. Groups looked at subjects from currency, tax and pensions in an independent Scotland to how we can organise and share resources as a grassroots movement. We were also asked to share the values that we felt were most important to bear in mind during the campaign and to guide Scotland after independence has been achieved.

Bill Mills and June Maxwell address the Gathering

Group work continued until we broke for lunch and, while we ate, Bill Mills and June Maxwell spoke to us about Reframing the Narrative. Their work has focussed on the psychology behind framing (spinning a story to create a certain perspective) which is the basis of propaganda and reframing which combats this. We learned that people are mostly unaware of the frames that shape their views and that we are quite susceptible to repeating and strengthening the frames of others, even when we vehemently disagree with them. If we deny, for example, that Scotland is too poor to go it alone, we actually reinforce that belief in the minds of those who currently think that way. It is also the case that a solid fact will not, by itself, change someone’s frame – the fact will simply be denied and the frame reinforced. Bill and June explained that the best way to change someone’s frame is to speak to them face to face and build a rapport. Sometimes it’s better not to discuss independence at all, as it is more important to leave someone with a good impression of an Indy supporter than to challenge their attitude to the topic itself. In future, that person may well be more inclined to ask questions and listen to answers about independence; but that comes from them and there’s no way that even the best, most well-reasoned argument will change their mind until they are ready.

Armed with this new information about reframing we returned to our groups to continue our discussions. Each team worked hard to prepare a brief presentation to deliver at the end of the conference so that all could hear about their deliberations. The groups also populated a short form that would provide a starting point for those wishing to continue the work on these areas using the IndyApp.

The Yes Highland group at the end of the day.

The presentations themselves were entertaining and diverse, perhaps not polished, but that was to be expected in the limited time that was available to prepare. They were all interesting and informative, emphasising that, with independence, there is so much we could change to make our country better. The audience were inspired to learn from the Resources group that Scotland outcompetes the UK in many areas including maritime resources, food and drink exports and top universities, while boasting 25% of the wind and tide energy potential for the whole of the EU. We were shocked to find out from the Welfare group that 20,000 people have died within three months of being “deemed fit for work” and losing their benefits. This group advocated a citizen’s income as a means of preventing those worst off in society from falling through the cracks. Yes Cumbernauld amused us with their Scottish rhyming slang title of “numb and cauld”, and the presentations finished with the emotional story of Jim from the Scottish Health Service group who had battled cancer, here in Scotland, and had survived with the help of nurses, doctors, consultants and surgeons from all over the world.

The work done on these topics did not end there, rather, it was only beginning. The groups are already set up on the IndyApp and receiving members to take these discussions forward.

Albert Halls, Stirling

It was a tired crew that left Stirling that Saturday night to begin the long drive north to the Highlands. A huge thank you is in order for Ian who drove the minibus and saw us all safely back to our homes. Tired we may have been but, that day, we had all seen that the promise of a better Scotland is alive and well. That there are many out there who share our vision and when we work together we have the power to make that vision a reality.

The Highlands say YES

The Highlands say YES

While the morning of Saturday the 28th broke with the sound of rain drumming on all and sundry, by the start of the YES march at 1:30pm it had cleared and the sound of drums on the streets of Inverness was literal. With pipes and chants also ringing out, fourteen thousand marchers strode out to demand their freedom from a regressive, one-sided Union that has held Scotland in contempt for its entire duration.

 

The All Under One Banner march rolled over the bridge and up to the High Street. Here we were treated to the sight of a tiny handful of Unionist supporters with a microphone trying vainly to be heard over the massed ranks of this unstoppable force. The engines of fifty YES bikers revving as they passed the insignificant group completely drowned out their attempt to defy our message and we left them behind without a backward glance.

 

Onward, the march flowed, a boiling ribbon of blue and white to challenge the Ness itself, but with many other colours also in evidence. The yellow and red of the Catalonian flag was strongly represented along with flags from many other nations. Even the St George’s Cross flew proudly, not to mention the colourful banners of the many YES groups from across our nation. Unionists and their Union in our wake we were now met only by friendly faces, waving flags and cheering their support from the roadside.

 

Pouring into the park at Castle Heather we gathered at the stage to hear powerful words and inspiring music. Messages of hope and inclusivity reminded us that Scotland is Big Enough, Rich Enough and Smart Enough to look after her own and to be a force for good on the world stage. Anger at Westminster injustice and disrespect confirmed that Scotland has Had Enough of a union that has left us poorer and unable to realise our true potential. Maree Todd MSP gave an excellent speech at the beginning of the rally and Steve Elwood spoke passionately and powerfully on behalf of YES Ross & Sutherland at the end of the day. Hats off to all the speakers and a big thank you to Steve who represented us so well. Thanks also to the stall team, those who donated tombola prizes and to Lorraine who baked ninety Indy cup-cakes! We made over £200 for the cause.

 

If Saturday’s events left you thirsty for more, see below for further opportunities to make your voice heard:

click on image above to view gallery. Thanks to Elizabeth and Peadar for images.

List of marches and other events

11th August – Protest Media Bias BBC | STV Pacific Quay, Glasgow

Provided for information only, this is a peoples demonstration by all members of society in Scotland. Could we please ask that if you are intending to attend this demo that you do not wear YES or YES ROSS SUTHERLAND t shirts etc. We don’t want this branded by the MSM as an Indy protest but rather as a Scottish peoples protest.

Be advised, this is not a YES event. Demonstrators will be challenging BBC bias, not demanding Independence for Scotland.

 

18th August AUOB March in the Yes city Dundee

6th October – AUOB March in our capital city Edinburgh.

PS – The street stall in Beauly on Sat 4th Aug is cancelled.

 

A Guid Nicht Oot

A Guid Nicht Oot

Yes Ross | Sutherland are having a wee get together in the Jubilee Hall, Evanton
Traditional Scottish food included
Live music from Eagleshambles
BYOB
So come along and join in the fun, catch up with old friends and perhaps make some new,enjoy the craic and good company
£8.50 per head admission, including food.Under 16s free
Raffle & Tombola

2 Dec 7:30-12.30

Ticket available here

Yes Highland Action Day

Yes Highland Action Day

An inclusive gathering of Independence supporting , non aligned, non nuclear groupings from the Highlands. This is a street event. Stall’s, Possibly music, speakers, definitely chats, all welcome.

Drop by and say hi or join us.

https://yrs.scot/event/yes-highlands-action-day

Breaking News…Special Announcement!

Breaking News…Special Announcement!

Yes Ross & Sutherland are delighted to announce that the Wee Ginger Dug has accepted our invitation to return to the Highlands.

Full event details will follow but meantime, please keep Tuesday 19th September free as we will be hosting what will be another brilliant evening of chat and craic with Paul Kavanagh and Wee Ginger in Alness.
Watch out for further news shortly.

March for Independence-Spirit of Scotland Rally

March for Independence-Spirit of Scotland Rally

Following on from the success of the last outing, Yes Ross and Sutherland are organising another bus running from Inverness to the March and Rally in Glasgow on 16 September 2017 in support of Independence for Scotland.

All members and friends are encouraged to join us in supporting this event as we would like a maximum turnout from the Highlands.

Tickets are £20 return for adults £10 for under 16s. Further information and Bookings from here.

 

Dornoch Street Stall

Dornoch Street Stall

We were very pleasantly surprised by the reception we received today in Dornoch, and going on the same weekend as the Agricultural Show proved to be a great move.  

We were lucky with the weather, folk are much happier to stop for a blether it seems when the sun is shining, we had lots of interest and engagement from locals and tourists alike and can count today as a great success.

Dornoch we will be back, Thank You.

 

 

YR&S Summer of Independence

YR&S Summer of Independence

As a group we are very pro-active and are continually moving ideas forward. So, as such and in this spirit we have taken up the challenge offered by Nicola to help move the case for Independence on and grow the wider pro-Indy movement by seriously upping the ante in our  engagement with people.
We have therefore laid plans to set a series of events underway over the summer, starting with a street stall in Alness this Saturday 8/7/17.
This will kick off events every fortnight across the entire Ross & Sutherland area as we will literally be taking to the road, hitting a number of targeted stop off towns & villages on the NC500 route where we will conduct canvassing / street stalls and other activities, still being planned.
To maximise our presence, we will use a newly converted trailer which we plan on turning into our “Indy Mobile” by covering it in our Yes Ross & Sutherland logo | Yes everything | Flags so we make a huge splash out on the road and at each stop off.
For canvassing, we now have our own NEW tool in the shape of the CANVASS APP that Ian Vallely has created & developed, which is really big news for us as it gives us great capability. The app will be published on this site very soon.
So all in all we have the ideas, we have the enthusiasm, we have the activist Yessers what we don’t have at this stage is the full funding we would need to carry out all we would like to do.
For the trailer alone we have costed adhesive banners which at their cheapest will cost £70 each – 2 Required
We also need other equipment and printing done so we effectively need to raise £200 very quickly indeed.
We will hold other fundraisers, however, to raise the funds we need to get started, quickly, we are appealing to your generosity and ask you to consider making an urgent donation of £5 or more (or whatever you feel you would like to contribute)
This can be done via the following methods:
 
 
 
• Electronic Transfer to our Bank*
• Cheque*
 
 
*please contact us for details.
 
Your help with this project is very much appreciated, Thank You.
Graham | Lorraine – Co-Convenors
On The Road Again

On The Road Again

We have a busy weekend planned.

Kicking off with a Group Meeting on Saturday Morning Followed by a street stall in Dingwall .

If you see us give us a wave or a toot, better still come say Hi.

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