AS demonstrations go, the All Under One Banner (AUOB) Glasgow March for Independence last weekend could be described as a major success.

It was estimated that up to 100,000 people of all ages, races and backgrounds took part in what was for many a family day out at the latest in a series of rallies designed to satisfy some of our cravings for independence.

The SNP depute leader Keith Brown was at the march, as were SNP MSPs Sandra White and Christina McKelvie and a number of MPs, including Stewart Hosie, who was riding with Yes Bikers as he has done at previous rallies.

Representation also came from Catalan and German contingents, as well as a group of English Scots for Yes.

Arthur Ballantyne, an independence supporter from Troon, tweeted a question that many in the crowd were also asking: “Why aren’t SNP openly promoting Saturday’s AUOB march to show public support for an independence referendum? As WM shuts down democracy SNP should recognise that mass protest is almost all that’s left.”

SNP sources said the party was amply represented by MPs, MSPs, councillors and ordinary members, and dismissed any suggestion that Nicola Sturgeon had snubbed the march – she had a prior constituency matter to attend to.

Some have suggested the lack of an official sanction from the SNP is down to snobbery, while others have blamed it on the involvement of some controversial figures.

Others took to social media to express their doubts that marches like last Saturday’s converted soft No voters to the Yes side.

As well as marching last weekend, White, the MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, has taken part in similar demonstrations in Scotland and in Catalonia.

She told The Sunday National: “I don’t know why there should be any snobbery – while some people might have concerns about the presence of certain people it’s a grassroots movement supporting independence. I’ve always been grassroots and I’ve gone along and taken part in many of their events.”

Protests in Catalonia regularly attract crowds in the hundreds of thousands, and White said she liked how Catalan communities seized the initiative when it came to organising them.

“The local communities organise the protests from the grassroots up.

‘‘What they are doing is bringing together people who support the principle of independence regardless of their politics. There should be no hierarchy.

“I was at last Saturday’s Glasgow march and I met a woman from London who travels up here for every one of them – she does the whole march walking on crutches. It gives people a sense of purpose, pride and like-mindedness.

“My real concern is that if we can go to London and take part in a protest about Brexit, why can’t we join in a grassroots demonstration for independence? I think we should follow Catalonia’s lead and get local communities more involved.”

Independence demonstrations in Catalonia tend to be organised by two grassroots groups – the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Omnium Cultural. Their respective leaders are political prisoners Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who have been in jail for more than 18 months.

They are currently on trial for allegedly organising a large, peaceful protest against police raids on public offices before the October 2017 referendum.

While these organisations are responsible for jumping through the regulatory hoops that surround such gatherings, usually in Barcelona, and securing the necessary permissions for mobilisations, local groups in towns and villages play their part in actually getting people to the Catalan capital, which can accommodate the hundreds of coaches required.

Political parties play no part in the organisation, but they have an important place in each event, with pro-independence politicians taking part in the marches and, when invited, speaking on the platforms.

Abel Riu, head of the ANC’s international office, said: “Catalan political parties do not take part in the organisation of the September 11 Diada [National Day] protest. ANC organises the whole thing and Omnium supports with communications.

“When it comes to other protests, the level of involvement varies, but in general it is mainly the civil society organisations that play the biggest part.

“In each city it is different, many regulations are municipal, but usually it is not a complicated process, it just requires a lot of paperwork.

“The local police are in charge of co-ordinating street-level services such as closing streets, with Catalan police co-ordinating security plans and also medical services, firemen, emergency services and municipal cleaning services.

“Political parties do actively take part in the protests, sometimes appearing on stage.”

Omnium’s vice-president, Marcel Mauri, added: “The political parties don’t take part in the actual organisation of the demonstrations.

“We obviously talk to everyone and the Catalan pro-independence parties gladly participate in them, but the structure, calendar and organisation of the mobilisations is determined by the civil groups.

“Nonetheless, some of the demonstrations in favour of civil rights and the right to self-determination have been organised together with different political parties, even with some that do not support independence, but who are against the current regression of rights.”

Mike Thom is a Scot who has lived in Barcelona for 20 years, and said the Catalan propensity to “manifestar” (demonstrate) is high.

“From student marches, taxi drivers, feminist issues et al and now independence protests, marches are supported by masses,” he said.

“In recent years we’ve seen Diada, on September 11, used for the independence cause, and other days to clearly support exiles and prisoners.

“While ANC and Omnium arrange logistics, parties such as JxCat, PDeCAT, ERC and CUP always seem to lend visible support.”

Thom said there was no “cringe factor” but there was growing frustration with the perceived “dithering of supposed independence parties” in Catalonia and Scotland.

“I’d tell the SNP’s PR people to advocate a ‘get off the fence, grab a Saltire and get out with the troops approach’,” he said.

Thom added that the massive demonstrations in Catalonia were a recent cultural phenomenon, “bred of the right of expression and through multitudinous gatherings after the death of Franco in 1975”.

“Under the regime, meetings of groups in the street was banned,” said Thom.

“In the past few years, big marches have been meticulously planned and each time more creative.

“Added to the underlying and growing discontent of the people, they get support easily. People also seem to enjoy getting together en masse to send a message.

“Perhaps Mediterranean weather helps too. Generally, the mood is peaceful and the feedback I pick up from those who attend is that it was worth their while and needed to be done.”