Thousands march for second Scottish independence vote

Organisers claim more than 200,000 demonstrators turned out

Jane Dalton
Saturday 05 October 2019 18:52
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Many of the marchers were in fancy dress or had painted faces
Many of the marchers were in fancy dress or had painted faces

Thousands of people have marched through the streets of Edinburgh to call for Scottish independence, in what was billed as potentially one of the city’s biggest ever rallies.

The event was the culmination of months of demonstrations backing a second independence referendum in towns and cities including Glasgow, Aberdeen and Perth.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon did not join the event but said she was there “in spirit”.

Waving Saltire flags, carrying banners and some in fancy dress, marchers walked from Holyrood Park, while city centre roads were closed.

Organisers from the All Under One Banner (AUOB) group had predicted at least 100,000 people – and possibly up to 250,000 – would take part, and on the day claimed the crowd swelled to more than 200,000.

Chants of “What do we want? Independence” could also be heard roaring up the Royal Mile.

Gemma MacFadyen, 34, who has backed Scottish independence since she was a child, said: “To be honest, after the last referendum I was a bit deflated and disenfranchised and I was not going to be taking part any more.

“But recently after a trip to the west coast of Scotland I’ve been re-inspired – so I’m here today.

“I’ve not really been caught up in the whole Brexit debate, I’m not bothered about that.

“But I am for another independence referendum, as soon as possible – it should’ve been ages ago.”

Harry Baird, 19, from Orkney, said: “There’s a lot more than I thought I would see, to be honest.

“(I want) more radical and instant Scottish independence.

“Any change from what it is now would be worth it.”

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AUOB’s rally through Edinburgh in October last year was estimated by organisers to have attracted more than 100,000 people, although Police Scotland put the figure at around 20,000.

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