IT could have been just another weekend afternoon on Charing Cross. The only thing that gave the game away were the people on the pavement waiting in expectation and the helicopter buzzing overhead.

But then, at around 1.30pm, they were there. Marching down Woodlands Road and led by pipes and drums – a sea of flags, faces, sound and colour.

Led by a single flag carrier and the Saor Alba Pipe Band – the official pipes and drums band of the Yes movement, the first 10,000 people clutched a free copy of The National, copies of which were distributed in Kelvingrove Park.

READ MORE: Huge turnout for Glasgow's All Under One Banner independence march

And the scale was soon clear to see. The throngs of indy supporters were still leaving the park at Gibson Street around 2pm as the front of the march appeared on the crest of the hill on West George Street.

The crowd looked to be endless.

Blue and white Saltires mingled with the yellow and scarlet of the lion rampant. The twelve stars of the EU flag flew in the breeze with the banners of Yes groups big and small from all corners of the country.

“What do we want?” cried a man with a megaphone.

Independence now!” the crowd replied.

READ MORE: Glasgow indy march kicks off season of All Under One Banner rallies

The event, organised by All Under One Banner, had been subject to a debate over timing, with some raising issues of safety given the scale of the march and the impacts it would have on the city centre’s traffic and transport links.

The National:

Police closed part of the road at Charing Cross and maintained a presence throughout, but the family atmosphere and carnival feel gave the procession an undeniable sense of optimism and togetherness. There were even several dogs in tow, on leads and padding the streets with Saltire neck ties looped through their collars.

Rain threatened, but the sun broke through to the delight of the hundreds in kilts, which included a kilted stormtrooper sporting the “May the fourth be with you” look.

Amazingly, American rock band Wheatus, of “Teenage Dirtbag” fame, who were in Glasgow to play a gig at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, tweeted: “March for Scottish Independence today in Glasgow. Pretty great. 100k at least have gone by and still going.”

And while it was difficult to gauge the precise number of those in attendance, the turnout easily surpassed the 35,000 who took to the streets of Glasgow last year.

At the time of writing, no final figures have been released, but with early estimates suggesting over 75,000 which increased to an afternoon count of 90,000, the anticipated turnout of 100,000 did not seem outlandish as people continued to spill down past Nelson Mandela Place towards George Square.

When they arrived, a small group of union jack waving anti-indy protestors stood defiant, with police forming a line between them and the marchers.

Writing in The National on Friday, AUOB organisers had advised that “marchers can either ignore the counter-demonstrators or smile and wave... our movement doesn’t need any negative publicity”.

It took approximately three hours for the procession to reach Glasgow Green, where speeches were delivered by SNP depute leader Keith Brown and others to a prolonged crowd which police Scotland estimated to be more than 35,000 strong as the day went on.

An organiser for the All Under One Banner event said: “The people of Scotland demand that Scotland regains full independence from London rule and so we march in our tens of thousands at Glasgow [yesterday] to declare this so, and to state that it is we the people who are in charge, not the English Parliament 500 miles away.”

Yesterday, SNP activists were hard at work distributing 500,000 “Stop Brexit” flyers across Scotland as part of the party’s aim to use the EU elections as a platform for the country’s desire to remain a part of the EU.

Multiple polls have indicated that the party will win three or four of Scotland’s six European seats, with YouGov indicating that the SNP could win as much as 40% of the vote.

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