This September people from across the country will gather in Edinburgh for the March and Rally for Independence. We asked one of the event's principal organisers, Jeff Duncan, to tell us all about it...
So, what's this March for and Rally for Scottish Independence all about then?
The March and Rally for Scottish Independence is the first of three March and Rallies which will take place in Edinburgh on September 22nd 2012, September 21st 2013, and September 20th 2014. The event will bring together people from all political parties including the SNP, Greens, SSP, Labour and even some Liberal and Conservative voters whose views are not catered for within those parties.
A browse of our website shows all kinds of groups/organisations in Scotland, which while supporting Scottish Independence, wish to share their own special message in the independence debate. Taking part in a march and rally is a unique experience, it allows people to meet others like themselves, it empowers and motivates and above all it sends out a clear message to the world. People from all walks of life and every community feel passionate about Scottish Independence.
Who's organising it?
This is truly a people's event and whilst its main organisers are myself (Jeff Duncan) and Anne McMillan, who organised and ran the Save the Scottish Regiments campaign from 2005 to 2007, it is further supported by ordinary people who feel the need to fill every area from event awareness to stewarding. This is one of the largest community based events in our history and its organisers are independent of any political party. We share one common-goal and belief – Scottish Independence. Anne and I have experience of large marches and rallies which have taken place in Dundee, Edinburgh and London.
Why is it important that I come along?
Many people want independence, they are passionate about independence and want to express that passion. Your involvement on the day and that of your friends and family will signal the start of an increasing sense of momentum towards the referendum in 2014.
A good turnout in 2012 will fuel even larger marches and rallies in 2013 and 2014. Every person counts and that is why we want you to be join with people who share your vision and passion for an Independent Scotland.
I don't want to be associated with any particular political party: will I still be welcome?
Most certainly – everyone is welcome. You don't have to support a particular political viewpoint to support Scottish Independence. The March and Rally for Independence will be as varied as society itself.
What will happen on the day?
The assembly will take place at 11am in The Meadows, Edinburgh. At around noon the march will leave The Meadows and make its way through Edinburgh towards Princes Street Gardens, arriving at 1pm for the start of a Rally in the Gardens which will end at around 4pm.
Can I expect to see any famous faces there?
Yes you can. Well-known politicians including Alex Salmond, Margo MacDonald, Dennis Canavan, Patrick Harvie and many more will be among a number of high-profile speakers. Internationally acclaimed singers such as Dougie MacLean, Ted Christopher and bands such as Clanadonai, The Trybe and The Wakes will also be performing. Comedian and commentator Hardeep Singh Koli and compere Pat Kane will also be there. It's not all about 'famous' though as we have community speakers who will represent a wide-range of views. There is truly something for everyone! A full line-up can be viewed at our website
Can taking part in a march really help Scotland become independent?
Often people feel that their views and aspirations are ignored by the popular media, in fact some feel that the media shows bias towards the retention of the union and belittles the belief that we are better looking after our own affairs and being part of the wider international community as an independent Scotland. Taking part in the March and Rally for Independence sends out the clearest message of all.
As we like to say: "You can talk the talk but it's walking the walk that really gets the attention of the media and wider population". Most movements have held marches and rallies on their way to achieving their goals and affecting change. This is our time.
Ok, sounds good. What do I need to do to take part?
Simple. Just get yourself to The Meadows in Edinburgh on Saturday 22 September, 2012 at 11am. We have coaches leaving from all-over Scotland and the seats are very competitively priced. The coaches will get you very close to the assembly point in The Meadows and pick-up very close to Princes Street Gardens at the end. You can book your seats(s) online, via phone or post.
The website also has full details of the assembly, route and rally points.
You've inspired me to get more involved. Can I do anything to help?
There are several ways to get involved, something for everyone from volunteering to steward on the day to fundraising for awareness campaigns. All details can be found at our website:
Thank you Jeff. It's been great to chat. If I need any more information about the event where can I find it?
For more information go to our website or call our office on 0131 541 2194 (7 days a week from 10am to 6pm). Email us: email@example.com