The organisers of a mass pro-independence march through Glasgow on Saturday claimed it “sent a clear message” to Boris Johnson that Scotland would not be denied a second referendum on the matter.
Tens of thousands of marchers shrugged off the dreadful January weather to take part in the latest procession by All Under One Banner (AUOB), a non-party campaign group that stages regular public events to call for the end of the Union.
Organisers claimed around 80,000 people walked along a route which began at Kelvingrove Park and ended at Glasgow Green.
Although not officially endorsed by the SNP, several senior Nationalists took part in the parade - including Holyrood justice secretary Humza Yousaf and veteran MP Pete Wishart.
The First Minister did not attend but did share a message on social media shortly before the march got underway. “Good luck to everyone marching for independence in Glasgow today - hope the weather isn’t too bad,” she said.
“Sorry I can’t be there today, but look forward to seeing you all again soon. In the meantime, sending my support and best wishes.”
Mr Yousaf tweeted: “Brilliant Indy March in Glasgow with fellow supporters coming the length and breadth of the country to make their voices heard.
“The biggest indy march I’ve ever been on, the momentum is with us.”
East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald said: “Glad to be part of the Glasgow march for independence today - rain clearly didn’t put people off making their feelings know.”
A small counter-protest was held at the junction of Argyle Street and Union Street, with around 150 people waving Union Jacks in support of the UK.
A rally at Glasgow Green, which was intended to conclude the march, was cancelled on Thursday after consultation with the local authority amid poor weather forecasts.
Instead, organisers held a brief press conference at the West Brewery in the city’s east end.
Gary Kelly, one of the AUOB organisers, said: “We have sent Boris Johnson a clear message on what the Scottish people actually want.”
The event was described as an “emergency march” and was organised in the wake of last month’s general election, which saw the SNP win 47 of 56 constituencies north of the Border.
That result has emboldened pro-independence supporters and led to a fresh demand from the Scottish Government to be granted the legal powers required to hold a second referendum on the matter.
But the UK Government has consistently said it will not allow any IndyRef2 to take place, and has said the result of the 2014 referendum must be respected.