The Final Push: Pro-independence Rally in George Square

In recent months the Yes Campaign has taken on a momentum of its own, and nothing exemplified this more than in Glasgow today.

Today George Square was awash with a sea of saltire flags and supporters turned up on mass. From mothers with new born babies in prams to the older generation and everyone in between, there were stalls ran by socialist party activists, bagpipers and shouts of “Freedom!” were met with loud applause.

Yes supporters climbed the various monuments in George Square to get a good view
Yes supporters climbed the various monuments in George Square to get a good view

Everywhere you looked stickers, badges, hats and flags adorned with YES emblazoned on them flooded George Square, and it was easy to get swept up in the carnival atmosphere.

Peter, 49 from Glasgow, is one of the many who have adorned themselves from head to toe in Yes banners, stickers and even made his own sign to try and convince undecided voters.

Peter said “I’ve always been a Yes supporter, our country is governed by a Tory government we didn’t vote for, and look how many times that’s happened in the past! I’m sickened by the way Westminster is being run at the moment and I think it’s completely wrong.”

Yes Supporters rally in George Square, Glasgow
Yes Supporters rally in George Square, Glasgow

Campaigners Val Brown and Gordon Smith travelled through from Edinburgh to show their support for Yes Campaigners in Glasgow and have been part of the campaign from the beginning.

Val Said “I just walked into the Craig Miller Yes Shop in Edinburgh and volunteered my time. It’s as simple as that, and I know that’s how a lot of people have got involved. I’m not an SNP supporter, I supported Labour until 2011 and I’ve always been a trade unionist, but I think we need independence so we can start from the beginning.”

Gordon agrees “Nuclear disarmament for me is one of the big issues, in 2002 Tony Blair knew that Trident was compromised and would cost us a fortune, but he went ahead with it because of his friendship with the US. I don’t agree with it, and i doubt a lot of scots do.”

Giant anti nuclear weapons banner, the creator who travelled up from England said "if you liberate yourselves, you can liberate England too! The UK is crying out for democracy!"
Giant anti nuclear weapons banner, the creator who travelled up from England said “if you liberate yourselves, you can liberate England too! The UK is crying out for democracy!”

As former Labour supporters Val and Gordon have serious concerns about the future of politics if Scotland remains in the UK.

Gordon said “The three main parties are deliberately pushing the working class out, it’s not working class people who run in the Labour Party any more, it’s lawyers and solicitors who don’t understand the needs and concerns of the working class.”

Better Together Campaigner struggles to be heard over the crowds
Better Together Campaigner struggles to be heard over the crowds

Val staunchly agrees “I never thought I would see it, but all three parties have essentially become Tories. We need to scrap it all, start from the roots and create a better society. With independence political parties will have to re-establish themselves and that is something we desperately need.”

Gordon said “Our main concerns are nuclear disarmament and fighting poverty, the situation with the food banks is a disgrace and I think a lot of people are beginning to realise that and are going to vote yes because of it.”

One of the most popular activists in George Square today
One of the most popular activists in George Square today

Thousands turned out in support of the Yes campaign, some with similar views to Val and Brown and some with completely different ones. It seems to be the idea of change and hope that has gripped Scotland in recent weeks. Various acts from poets to acoustic sets to people who just wanted to say how they felt took to the make-shift stage in front of thousands of people to get their views across.

People make Glasgow, and Catalonia, and Palestine.
People make Glasgow, and Catalonia, and Palestine.

Poet Mark McG entertained the crowd with a tale of a 14p onion that due to excessive bank charges was now costing him over £1,000, but became increasingly passionate by the end of his 10 minute slot.

McG said “I have been embraced in the most incredible grass roots campaign I have ever seen in my life. The establishment has seriously underestimated every single one of you! A vote for yes is taking our country into our own hands and doing something good!”

This theme of goodness, of a just and fair society reverberated throughout the event. The Yes supporters are fighting to keep the NHS public, to defend the poor and eradicate food banks amongst many other things.

Socialist Workers Party Stall in George Square
Socialist Workers Party Stall in George Square

This isn’t about political parties any more, this is about ideology and democracy and the Yes supporters are making sure their voice heard.

Human Rights Lawyer, vocal supporter of independence and self titled ‘Internationalist’ Aamer Anwar took to the stage just before 3pm to rally the crowds.

Anwar said “In the next 24 hours do everything that you can, knock on every door you can! If someone can’t make it to the polling station, give them a lift, give them the money for the bus fare. Do everything you can to make this vote win by a landslide! What you do tonight and in these final hours will make all the difference. The vote tomorrow is our first opportunity to change our future, to change our destiny!”

Yes Supporters at the rally in George Square
Yes Supporters at the rally in George Square

Momentum is growing, but can the Yes Campaign make the final push and win the referendum?
Val Brown believes so, “Absolutely a Yes Vote will win, over 60% are going to vote yes. I’m certain of it.”

Scotland takes to the polls tomorrow, and no matter the outcome its only the beginning.

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