Scottish independence: Thousands at Glasgow rally

THOUSANDS of people flocked to the centre of Glasgow for a rally in support of Scottish independence.
George Square is mobbed by pro-independence supporters. Picture: PAGeorge Square is mobbed by pro-independence supporters. Picture: PA
George Square is mobbed by pro-independence supporters. Picture: PA

The Hope Over Fear event, organised by the socialist campaign for an independent Scotland, attracted supporters of all ages from across the city and beyond.

The five-hour rally in George Square was aimed at maintaining the momentum of the Yes movement, following its defeat in the referendum just over three weeks ago.

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Pro-independence supporters at the Hope over Fear rally. Picture: PAPro-independence supporters at the Hope over Fear rally. Picture: PA
Pro-independence supporters at the Hope over Fear rally. Picture: PA

It came as the country’s main political parties submitted their proposals to the commission tasked with agreeing more powers for the Scottish Parliament in the wake of the No vote on September 18.

Compered by the former socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan, speakers included actors Martin Compston, Paul Brannigan and Keira Lucchesi.

As hundreds of Saltire flags were waved, Mr Sheridan, now co-convenor of Solidarity Scotland, rallied the crowd: “Some of you who are old enough will remember the last titanic battle with the British establishment that was taken to the brink - the 1984/5 miners’ strike.

“I remember the South Wales miners’ marching back to work in March of 1985 with a banner that is applicable to us here today. That banner read: this is the end. The end of the beginning.

“This is the end of the beginning.”

Mr Sheridan urged people to become involved in the Hope Over Fear movement, calling for similar rallies to be held in Edinburgh, Dundee, Fife and across Scotland.

Looking out to a sea of Yes banners and placards, River City actress Keira Lucchesi told the crowd: “The (referendum) campaign was really, really positive. We had to keep pushing forward and not looking back.

“But that just meant that the come down was that wee bit harder. But this isn’t over, and I know looking at everybody here today that you all feel the same.”

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Referring to the unionist parties’ vow to give Scotland substantial powers after a No vote, Martin Compston said the rally showed Westminster politicians that Scottish people are “not going to be lied to”.

“We were promised substantial change, and we demand that substantial change, because 45 per cent wanted complete change and the vast majority of the 55 (percentage who voted No) want something substantial,” he said.

“Firstly we are here to achieve that, and secondly, this movement is going nowhere.

“If you look at the numbers, the youth massively wanted independence, we lost it in the older vote, and one day the youth will be the majority.”

He added: “I was devastated (with the result of the referendum) but now I have realised this is just the beginning, and I believe one day independence will be achieved.”

The event also saw bands and musicians take to the stage to perform, as well as a collection for food banks.

A Hope Over Fear spokesman said they welcomed “Yes voters, No voters, non-voters and anyone who has an interest in being part of a peaceful day and who would like to hear some ideas about an alternative Scotland.”