THE Hands Off Our Parliament demonstration exceeded all the expectations of the organisers. It was originally hoped for some 700 people to attend, enough to form a human chain around the Scottish Parliament building. In the event as many as 3000 were there, enough to form a chain around Holyrood three or four people deep. By any standards, the day was a huge success, and all credit goes to the organisers for putting on an excellent and worthwhile event. It’s a testament to the energy and enthusiasm of the grassroots campaign.

I met people who had come all the way from John O’Groats, the Isle of Bute, Oban, Duns in the Borders, Peterhead, and all points in between. MPs Tommy Sheppard and Douglas Chapman were also present to show their support. I met old friends and new and the dug had a ball. There is nothing that dug loves more than schmoozing with his public. He must be the most photographed mutt in Scotland.

IN PICTURES: Hands Off Our Parliament protest attracts thousands

Everyone there was determined to show that the support our Scottish Parliament and will not consent to its powers being unilaterally altered by a Conservative government.

We were there for HOOP, Hands Off Our Parliament. The dug and the many other canines in attendance were there for POOP, Paws Off Our Parliament.

I tried to walk around the Parliament building in order to see for myself just how many people were there, but at every step there were folk asking for selfies with the dug. Not with me, I know my place. It took an hour to travel just a few metres.

READ MORE: Scotland sends clear message to Westminster – hands off Holyrood!

Naturally there was an equally impressive turnout from the Scottish media at this nationally important event dedicated to the protection of the devolution settlement.

Well, at least there was an impressive turnout in some alternate universe where the Scottish media is actually representative of Scottish opinion. In this universe only The National has bothered to promote and report on a grassroots initiative to protect the Scottish Parliament, and it seems that only The National was bothered enough to send anyone along.

There was, however, a TV crew present, only it turned out that they were from a channel in Hong Kong. To my mind, Scotland’s own so-called public service broadcaster was nowhere to be seen.

You would have had more success in finding Jacob Rees Mogg guest starring in an episode of Geordie Shore than you would have of finding a representative of the British nationalist media in Scotland at an event aiming to show that people in Scotland do actually care about the devolution settlement.

READ MORE: Archbishop to back power grab on Holyrood

During the climax of the event, while ordinary Scottish people stood arm in arm in a symbolic gesture of protection of the Scottish Parliament which we campaigned long and hard for, the guy standing next to me was checking his Twitter feed to see how the demonstration was being reported. At the very moment when thousands stood on guard outside the doors of Holyrood, lining the walls of the building several people deep, the main story on BBC Scotland’s Twitter news feed was, “Horse’s head found in burn in Bellshill”.

While Scottish people were giving up their day to protest and protect, to demonstrate our determination to defend our parliament, the national public service broadcaster which that same public pays for was quite literally flogging a dead horse.

Although to be fair, the event was covered on the BBC Scotland website very late in the day where it said “hundreds” had attended, and not the thousands who were actually there. There was also a blink and you’d miss it mention on Reporting Scotland lasting all of a few seconds.

Assorted talking heads in the media have assured us of late that no-one in Scotland really cares about the Conservative attack on the devolution settlement and Theresa May’s power grab from Scotland. Friday’s event highlighted the hollowness of that argument.

The overwhelmingly British nationalist media in Scotland is telling us that no-one cares about something that they are not bothering to give the profile it deserves, and having buried the story of the Westminster power grab under a dead horse, they tell us it’s not really much of an issue.

Yet despite that, and despite the fact that The National was the only Scottish newspaper to inform its readership that the HOOP event was taking place, thousands of people travelled from all corners of Scotland to show their solidarity with the Scottish Parliament.

Yet there is another issue here, another issue which the HOOP event has shone a light on. This was not a pro-independence event, this was not part of a campaign for Scottish independence, yet the British nationalist media in Scotland is so terrified of anything that might stoke “resentment” at the actions of a Westminster government that they are not doing their job of standing up for Scotland within the Union.

They are more afraid of independence than they are of the depredations of a Westminster government which is using Brexit, something Scotland didn’t vote for, to overturn the devolution settlement, something Scotland did vote for.

HOOP was a day which demonstrated many things. It demonstrated that there is an anger at the actions of the Conservatives. It demonstrated that Scotland needs its only pro-independence daily newspaper because without The National there would have been precious little coverage of the event at all.

But above all else it demonstrated that the self-organising and self-directing grassroots independence movement is the strongest force that Scotland has standing up for it. This is really a DIY Scotland, a DIY Yes movement, and a DIY revolution.