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‘Scotland’s right to choose’: Thousands join pro-independence march in Glasgow

11 Jan, 2020

Thousands of protesters have braved rain and strong wind in Glasgow to take to the streets in support of the second independence referendum, which has once again come to the fore, in light of the looming Brexit.

Demonstrators gathered in the Kelvingrove Park, from where they set out on a march to the Glasgow Green Park around 11:30 GMT. Crowds of people flooded the streets in the center of Scotland’s largest city.

The marchers were waving Scottish national flags and were holding banners and placards in support of the referendum, as well as of Scotland’s independence from the UK. A group of demonstrators were wearing kilts — a part of the Scottish national costume — and were playing bagpipes.

The march was organized by a grassroots pro-independence movement ‘All Under One Banner’ (AUOB), which insists it is not aligned with any political force.

It is the first such event out of at least eight that the group plans to hold across Scotland this year. The next one is scheduled for April, and will be held in Arbroath, on the 700th anniversary of the signing of Scotland’s declaration of independence.

Initially, AUOB also planned to stage a rally after the march, but it was called off due to safety concerns in light of weather warnings. This fact, however, did not apparently discourage people from turning to the streets in support of the referendum. The exact number of demonstrators is not known, yet the organizers expected up to 100,000 to attend the event.

Scotland already held a referendum in 2014, when the push for independence was defeated in a narrow popular vote, as 55 percent of those who took part in it chose to stay in the UK. Yet, after the Scottish National Party gained 45 percent of the votes during the latest UK general elections in Scotland, and won 48 out of 59 Scottish seats in the House of Commons, the idea of another referendum was once again put on the table by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.

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Speaking a week after the general elections, Sturgeon said that her government has “a clear democratic mandate to offer people a choice on that future in an independence referendum, and the UK Government has a democratic duty to recognize that.” She also vowed to consider “all options,” should the British government turn down her bid for the second referendum.

Yet, that appears exactly what London plans to do. In December, the UK government rejected Sturgeon’s demands, arguing that it would be a “damaging distraction” for the UK after it leaves the EU.

Published at https://www.rt.com/uk/478028-scotland-independence-referendum-glasgow-march/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Email