FOLLOWING the success of the march through Glasgow on May 4, the next stage of All Under One Banner’s national tour of marches and rallies takes place next Saturday in Galashiels.

It’s the first time that an All Under One Banner (AUOB) march has visited the Scottish Borders, and Galashiels, at the very heart of the Borders, is the town that has been chosen for what will surely be another celebration of the Yes movement’s commitment to independence.

AUOB’s national coordinator and spokesman Neil Mackay told the Yes DIY hub: “The Scottish Borders is steeped in a rich history. On June 1, Borderers will make history again when they march for independence and a better future for the region and for Scotland.

“Centuries ago William Wallace was made Guardian of Scotland in Selkirk, just five miles south of Galashiels, and the heart of Robert the Bruce is said to be buried in Melrose Abbey, just three miles to the east. These historic independence campaigners of long ago would be proud to see the cause of independence being celebrated locally.

“Local groups are looking forward to welcoming people from all over Scotland to their area. Yes Scottish Borders is the umbrella organisation which all the grassroots groups contribute to. Some of the groups carry the names of their proud Border towns and villages – Kelso, Hawick, Jedburgh, Lauder, Earlston, West Linton – and other groups represent areas like Berwickshire, Eildons and Tweeddale. Then of course there’s Yes Galashiels itself which is delighted to have their home-town chosen as to host this historic demonstration.”

Calum Kerr, who was SNP MP for Galashiels from 2015 to 2017 agreed: “We’re very happy to host the first ever AUOB march in the Scottish Borders here. It’s an exciting time with support for independence increasing locally, and we’re delighted to welcome visitors, as well as showing locals what fantastic, inclusive events these marches are.”

As well as groups from local towns and villages, there will be representatives from English Scots for Independence and Pensioners for Yes marching on the day.

Mackay explained: “These groups reflect the demographic of the Borders population with many Borderers being active in these groups, along with a new Selkirk Pensioners for Yes set up in the past few weeks.”

Having become a huge presence in their two marches to date, the Saor Alba Pipes and Drums will be at the forefront of the march.

The Yes Bikers will be out in force on the day too. Both groups have many local members who are looking forward to taking part in a march in their own area.

Graham Jones from Selkirk is the local AUOB organiser. He’s been working hard liaising between AUOB and Yes Scottish Borders to ensure that everything is organised for the day. He commented: “The time is right for a march and rally in the Borders, as support for independence is growing here, just like it’s growing all over Scotland.”

Mackay added: “The Scottish Borders, along with Dumfries and Galloway, are the gateways to Scotland, and as such will play an even more important part in the new independent Scotland.

“The Scottish Borders bring opportunities, not only for business and the economy, but for the interaction and co-operation of two closely related cultures and so Scottish independence offers a bright future for the area.”

Details of the event are as follows: Those intending to participate are asked to gather early so that the march will leave promptly from Scott Park at 1.30pm. From there the march will proceed through the centre of Galashiels and then back to the park for a rally with speakers, bands and stalls “to entertain and educate” as AUOB put it.

With the Borders Railway taking passengers from Edinburgh Waverley station to Galashiels in less than an hour, that’s one recommended way of making it to the venue.

Mackay concluded: “Just an hour’s drive down the A7 or the A68 from Edinburgh, Galashiels is the place to head to on June 1 for an unforgettable day out. We cannot wait to set the town’s parks and streets ablaze with a sea of Saltires rampant, proclaiming that the end of the Union is nigh, for Scotland wants England as a neighbour, not a master.”