‘The Big Yin’ – 250,000 marchers estimated to storm Edinburgh for last independence march of 2019, organisers claim

By James Hart and Lewis Robertson

From a crowd of 300 people in 2015 to an estimated 250,000 people due to march in Edinburgh this Saturday it is evident that the case for Scottish independence is not ready to go away.

Final preparations for the latest pro-independence rally set to hit the streets of Edinburgh, this Saturday, are underway, with event organizers ‘All Under One Banner’ (AUOB) estimating 250,000 to attend the march – doubling last year’s numbers.

AUOB was founded on the 12 October 2014 and have organized many events across the country to show solidarity and campaign for a second referendum.

Police Scotland and Edinburgh City Council claimed that there were only around 20,000 supporters at last year’s rally. However, event organizers stated that the real estimate was far higher, at over 100,000.

SNP councilor group leader for Inverclyde Christopher McEleny, West has been invited to speak at the event. McEleny has spoken at various pro-independence events and says that he is really looking forward to “standing shoulder to shoulder with people across Scotland” and hopes that the demonstration will ensure Scotland’s voice is heard.

Speaking to EN4 news McEleny said: “The Scottish Government has a mandate for an independence referendum, everyone marching supports our right to be given a choice on the future we want, whereas we have a feckless Franco in number 10 Downing Street who doesn’t want to give the people of Scotland a choice.”

Marchers from the last year’s event in Edinburgh

AUOB founder and Saturdays march organizer Neil Mackay said in an interview with EN4 News this was the 21st march that the group had coordinated and spoke highly of bringing the event back to Edinburgh, saying that Edinburgh would be a ‘beautiful’ place to conduct the latest march.

The march comes at a time when the independence movement has suffered a major blow after an Independence poll found that the majority of Scots will vote to remain part of the United Kingdom. The poll found 59% of Scottish people would vote to remain part of the union and the question posed to voters was ‘Should Scotland remain in the United Kingdom or leave the United Kingdom?’

Speaking on the case of independence Mr. Mackay said: ‘I think it’s becoming a lot less subversive an idea Scotland getting independence, a lot less contentious’. He later added that he believes that an independence referendum ‘is a referendum that will bring Scotland together’.

When asked if he believed that another referendum would further fragment Scotland’s political climate, Mr. Mackay said that ‘everyone is divided anyway on well, you name it!’ and dismissed the notion that a referendum would add to more division.

When questioned on what this march meant, Mr. Mackay said: ‘ It’s a clear sign to Westminster Parliment  that Scottish people want independence’.

Various public figures will be speaking at the event on Saturday such as comedian Jane Godley, controversial political figure Tommy Sheridan, and Charlotte Ahmed the founding member of stand up to racism and unite against fascism in Scotland.

The response on social media to the March has been mainly positive with one Twitter user saying: ‘ On Saturday I will be so proud to marc. I will be marching for a fairer more equal future for my children and grandchildren. Join us and share the love.’

A Twitter user reacts to the news of the Independence march this Saturday

One Facebook user added ‘I wish I could join you all but I’ll not be in Scotland until the 26th. I’ll be watching though. So will the rest of the world. The message will be very clear. It’s time!’

 

More social media reaction, this time from FacebookThe march will mean yet more road closures for the Edinburgh’s busy streets. The city has been affected by recent closures and diversions with filming of ‘Fast and the Furious 9’ taking place as well as ‘Eurovision’, starring Will Ferrell.

Closures will take place between 12.30 and 6.30. Roads affected include Queen’s drive, George IV Bridge and the High Street with traffic on North and South Bridge held by Police.

A City of Edinburgh Council spokesperson said “The safety of the public is of utmost importance to the Council and we have worked closely with organizers, Police Scotland and other partners to agree a route and conditions for this march which aim to ensure its smooth passage through the city.”

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