YRS Comment

AUOB Yes Independence March Perth

AUOB Yes Independence March Perth

 7th September 2019

The omens for another great march of independence came early that morning, first with the weather forecast, then an encounter with a guard heading for his train in Inverness Station. “You’ll be looking for the Perth train,” he said, with a glance at the YRS t-shirt and bag. “No, we’ve got a bus going.” He was surprised, seemingly unaware of the scale of numbers heading from all the airts – the bus itself had Yessers from Elgin to Ullapool to Thurso, for whom Inverness was only half way. “Well, I’ll be on the march too, once I get to Perth and am out of this uniform!”

The good news had started even earlier, with the announcement a couple of days before that one of the marchers and a rally speaker was to be none other than Deputy First Minister John Swinney. Here was a very public acknowledgement of the grassroot indy movement and its massive marches, from the top of Government. Will this endorsement be repeated, or even bettered, at the next march, on 5th October in Edinburgh? (Why not join us on the two YRS buses going, and help make the march the biggest ever statement of the demand for independence.)

Massive, but aye peaceful and indeed joyous marches. And though it is galling that the so called BBC Scotland said not a peep about the march, while paying attention to sectarian violence directed the same day at two small Irish marches in Glasgow, our mix of pacific and terrific reached out to far more people than violence ever could or should. And we would hardly have gone unnoticed, with about 20,000 going past well-populated areas, down into the centre and through to the North Inch by the Tay, and no doubt into the all-important local media. It has been suggested that there were more police than usual, but if so, they weren’t intrusive. The regular shouty counter-huddle of Yoonies has, to be fair, never presented a danger; though notably this time they were placed back from the marchers. But any increased police presence may have simply been down to caution stemming from the Westminster tensions or from the presence of a senior Government minister.

The march was previewed by The National with a stunning front cover; rather, two covers, flipping the paper round for mirrored Scottish and Welsh banner headlines, and a sea of Saltires or, the other way up, of Red Dragons, marking Perth and a simultaneous Welsh indy march in Merthyr Tydfil. The National was being handed out in Wales, but as seen in Oban, folk in Perth had also been busy handing out Yes.Scot scrolls and posters in advance along the route of the march, and these were being held aloft by many appreciative onlookers on the pavement and at open windows. Yes there were a couple of Union Flags stuck up; but no-one looked out of those windows. And as ever the marchers bore much more than just Saltires, but one small group of Basques celebrated the passing march holding flags of their own national banner.

We’d arrived an hour early at the gathering point on the edge of the giant corrie that is the Letham area of Perth, to what seemed a worryingly small number in the park. But first the park, then the road, quickly and smoothly filled to bursting as the mix of folk of varied lilts and languages, clothes and costumes, kept their tryst with the common cause. Welcoming facilities and emerging sunshine eased the wait, then we were off, the start of the Highland hills to be seen on the horizon above the trees and houses and the Lowland flats. Leading the way and the volume was the Saor Alba Pipe Band, including some YRS members; spotted was the band’s Saltire-bedecked support van (number, SP07RAN). And with pride of place in the YRS contingent taken by none other than Hamish himself, the diminutive lion that directly inspired the indy cartoon of same, the Ross and Sutherland roar was always going to be heard.

 

 

 

The Gathering #1

The Gathering #1

The Gathering

A defining moment for Indy campaigners everywhere

 

On the 27th of May a group of Yes Ross Sutherland members went to The Albert Halls, Stirling to attend The Gathering. This event, put on by the National Yes Registry, brought together around 300 members from grassroots campaign groups across the country. The objectives were to allow the various groups to meet face to face, to work collaboratively on a number of topics and to get the ball rolling on several projects, facilitated by the IndyApp, a newly developed piece of software designed as a networking tool that will encourage different groups/individuals to work together on campaign ideas and co-ordinate at a national level.

The day was a fantastic success.

After registration and a brief introduction by the event organisers we heard from the key note speakers. Mhairi Black spoke in a pre-recorded video about her strong support for our efforts and enthusiasm for the aims of the event. This was followed up in person by Dennis Canavan who reminded us that Independence is not the objective but merely a vehicle to achieving the kind of Scotland that we all want to live in – a fairer, more sustainable society that can stand on the world stage as a force for good.

Then it was down to business and the attendees split up into working groups to each discuss one of 21 topics that ranged from Economy of an Independent Scotland and Currency & National Debt to Reframing our Arguments and a mysterious ‘Big Bang’. Workgroups had over an hour to discuss their respective topics and come up with a 3 minute presentation to report findings back to the conference. There were some excellent debates and the presentations, when they came, showed that all groups had taken the task seriously with some great points raised and good ideas coming through. A YES bank to support grassroots fundraising without fees, the Pensions team reminding us that UK National Insurance has all been spent (mainly on wars) leaving a black hole for our future, Benefits talked of a Basic Income and pointed out that those in receipt of benefits are a big demographic and can’t be ignored. Good News Scotland pointed out we must publicise the good things about living in Scotland to combat the MSM’s negativity. Community Groups suggested reaching out by talking, not about Independence, but about specific issues that have an impact in the community. It was great to hear what a small group of motivated people can come up with in an hour.

After the talks we all voted on our favourites and new, volunteer workgroups were allocated to the top five topics in order to build on the ideas from the first session. While those groups worked the rest of us were treated to short presentations from Business for Scotland, iScot, The Indy Pledge and others. BfS is offering a training course for those who want to improve their canvassing skills – sounds really interesting and could make a big difference! iScot magazine is a substantial, monthly publication with news and stories from Scotland – not aimed solely at Indy minded folk so it can speak to the undecideds out there. Indy Pledge is about how we behave as individuals and groups in our quest for a better Scotland – many of us in Yes Ross Sutherland have signed (and we’ve signed as a group) already so please check this out.

Following these short pitches we were able to hear briefly from the five groups working on the high scoring topics. These groups (now designated committees) will continue to work together on their projects into the longer term using the IndyApp as a forum to structure their work and remain in contact with each other across Scotland. Peter Bell, working on the Reframing the Argument committee gave an excellent presentation on what, we have discovered, is an extremely important issue – that of the language used when talking about Independence. There is too much to explain in a short summary like this but Peter Bell provides a lot more detail on this topic here – highly recommended. The Developing as a Social Movement committee stressed the need for positivity and respect for all views, reminding us again about the Indy Pledge which will be very important in creating an open and credible movement. Simple, quick messages will be easy to use on the doorstep while more detail could be provided in YouTube videos. In the first session we had heard from an Irishman, fresh from the referendum on the Eighth Amendment, who stressed the importance of creating an inclusive social movement in achieving that momentous result. The Big Bang committee is working on an undisclosed project with two functions. Firstly, it will combat a message that has been insidiously infiltrating the minds of many over recent months and years. Namely, that “Scotland doesn’t want another referendum” or “Now’s not the time”. Pedalled by the MSM and the UK prime minister it has the power to become a self-fulfilling prophecy unless debunked for the nonsense that it is. The second function – to stir up some panic in the Unionist camp!

What a day. What a beginning! With 300 or so committed folk we achieved a heck of a lot in a short space of time. The atmosphere of the whole day was very positive; everywhere you looked there were people with a great attitude all wanting this to work, for the day to be a success. And it was. It is evident that there is a really serious movement emerging from a group of engaged and motivated people from all over Scotland. Not just those at The Gathering, there are many thousands of us. Not politicians, just normal folk with an eye to making their country a better place by taking ownership of it. The Grassroots – and we’re getting organised. Perhaps that is the biggest take-home message of them all.

 

 

 

A great excuse for a party

A great excuse for a party

We are delighted to announce that Highland CND will be joining us at our event ‘A GUID NICHT OOT‘ to celebrate the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) receiving the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo. The award is for the campaign’s critical contribution to the new UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. Already the Treaty has been signed by 53 UN member states and it will come into force as soon as 50 states have ratified it.

Would be great if everyone could get their tickets asap so we have an idea of numbers for food, Thanks.

Tickets available here

Promoting the Indy apps

Promoting the Indy apps

We are very lucky in the YES movement to have two superb apps at our disposal The IndyApp from NYR and Yes2Hub, both serving different purposes and complimenting each other perfectly. From news and analysis to communications we have it covered. These apps are of no good if we don’t all download and use them. 

Yes2Hub

Yes2 Hub is a social media platform promoting independence for Scotland, allowing you to easily follow and get notifications of the latest articles from pro-indy sites including Wings Over Scotland, Bella Caledonia, Newsnet Scotland and more.
The hub also cover livestreams by Independence Live & podcasts from the likes of Lesley Riddoch & Michael Greenwell.

In addition you can also follow other users and groups and create your own feed. The events section is especially useful for both promoting your events and finding any other events in your area.

Get the app on Google PLay

IndyApp

A networking app that will show you all registered groups (around 125 I believe) and after registering as a user will let you join any group or groups that appeal to you. The app has a messenger that will allow in group chat and in addition each group will have a couple of editors that can communicate with all other group editors via an editors forum. The app will also store useful group information such as events and campaigns.

Get the app on Google Play

Both of these apps not only deserve our support but will, I’m sure become essential tools when the next Indyref is called but we need to use them and build them now in preparation.


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

Returning to Alness

Returning to Alness

We look forward to returning to Alness for another street stall.

we will be on the High St in the square by the bank from 11:00 till 14:00 this Saturday the 14th Oct.

Come along and say Hi and if you see us in passing, give us a wave or a toot will do fine.

And look out for the mobile Hub in new livery.