Over 120,000 people joined a march for Scottish independence through Edinburgh last Saturday in the largest ever march about the issue.
A sea of blue Scottish flags stretched for well over a mile from Edinburgh Castle down into Holyrood Park, where local officials had attempted to ban the rally from gathering.
The ban on the post-march rally for being “political” backfired when it became clear the marchers would still head to the public park ‘for a picnic’.
As a debate raged over the numbers, some estimates reached up to 150,000. Supporters pointed out that an equivalent march in London would would be over a million.
Despite marchers chanting “Are you watching BBC?”, the government-run channel failed to cover the event in its news programming. A tiny counter protest of about thirty Scottish loyalists was given equal billing to the giant march in the mainstream media.
“This was nothing more or nothing less than a rising, an outpouring of the people’s dissatisfaction at Scotland’s status quo within the Union,” wrote Martin Hannon, a columnist for ‘The National’.
Among the scores of groups participating under the theme ‘All Under the One Banner’ was one representing ‘English Scots for Independence’. A choir sang Hamish Henderson’s alternative national anthem, the ‘Freedom Come All Ye’, as the crowd took two hours to assemble in the park.
Addressing the rally, the Deputy leader of the Scottish National Pary, Keith Brown condemned Westminster’s “unfolding disaster of a shambles that is Brexit”.
He praised the men and women who had come from distant islands and highlands, including a number who had walked 500 miles for independence from the Isle of Skye to Edinburgh.
The All Under One Banner group is to hold a further eight marches and rallies for independence across Scotland next year.
The group said it hopes it will not have to keep marching for independence but said they would do so “forever” if necessary.
Scottish author and blogger Paul Kavanagh wrote: “Scottish independence is nothing more than the radical and dangerous idea that Scotland can and will be a normal country. It’s an idea whose time is here. We are the tide that cannot be stopped.”