THOUSANDS of people, if not tens of thousands, are set to join the Annual Bannockburn March and Rally in and around Stirling next Saturday, June 23, marking the 704th anniversary of the start of the eponymous battle in which Scotland won its independence from England.

Organisers All Under One Banner (AUOB), fresh from the successful marches in Glasgow and Dumfries which were attended by 60,000 and 10,000 pro-independence supporters respectively, are playing down estimates for this one. However, sources say they will be disappointed if there is not a five-figure attendance after independence supporters across the country took to social media to say they would be there.

The march will proceed from near Kings Park in Stirling through Torbrex and St Ninians before ending at the statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn. A programme of road closures has been agreed with Police Scotland and Stirling Council.

A Stirling Council spokesman said: “A series of rolling road closures have been pre-approved while discussions continue between the Safety Advisory Group and key partner public agencies, including Police Scotland and organisers of the procession.’’

AUOB spokesman Neil Mackay said: “The reason we have chosen to march for independence at Bannockburn is to reinvigorate this famous commemorative annual procession with the spirit and numbers it deserves, to ensure that the anniversary of one of Scotland’s greatest victories over the English invader is properly celebrated and honoured in the manner that it should be.

“Scotland has awoken and with that awakening comes a revitalised thirst to discover Scotland’s history and not just the spoon-fed mush of the politically biased education system. Early 14th-century and early 21st-century Scotland may be greatly different in so many ways but they are exactly the same in many more.

“Scotland is under the cosh of Westminster, just as the Bruce and those brave patriots were under the cosh of English imperialism so many centuries ago.

“Just as the Bruce won at Bannockburn so shall we win indyref2, with the only difference being we don’t fight pitched battles anymore but pitched ballots.

“So this Bannockburn march is a march for freedom, in honour of the past and our ancestors before us, but most importantly in honour of the people of Scotland who deserve so much more than the crumbs off Westminster’s table.

“The Scottish people have awoken and are organised, mobilised and ready for action as we prepare to descend on Bannockburn to once again assert our independence and say loudly and proudly, ‘Dissolve the Union’.”