SABOTEURS have been blamed for putting lives at risk during the All Under One Banner march in Galashiels on Saturday.

The Yes Bikers group – some of whom had children riding pillion – were shocked to find screws strewn across the road on their approach to the Borders town in what appears to have been a deliberate attempt at sabotage.

They caused punctures in the tyres of at least seven bikers although no-one was injured and all but one made it to the march.

The incident has been reported to the police and follows trouble in Glasgow last month when Union Jack waving thugs hurled traffic cones at the bikers and yelled abuse.

The attempt to disrupt the Galashiels march – which organisers say also saw English for Yes supporters being jeered as “traitors” and racial abuse directed at march organiser Manny Singh – has been condemned as “sick” and “dangerous”.

Singh said lives had been put at risk by the attempt to halt the bikers. “They could have caused an accident,” he said. “Some of the Yes Bikers have children riding with them and what these people did is really sick. What if someone had died?

“I think the No crowd are getting angrier because they can see more people are supporting us. They are trying to provoke a reaction but what they are doing is really dangerous.”

Tony Dunlop of Yes Bikers said the screws had been laid out in a line across a road near the Tweedbank Industrial Estate.

“It’s getting ridiculous,” he said. “They are angry because they can see we are winning so they are resorting to violence.”

Dunlop said he had no doubt it was deliberate because of the way the screws were placed.

“No way it was an accident,”

he said. “It didn’t look like the screws had been there that long and they were short screws so could more easily cause a puncture than long ones.

“Luckily a lot of us managed to miss them but if anyone had got a blow-out they would have come off their bike.”

Dunlop pointed out that the Yes Bikers’ route is public knowledge as it is posted beforehand on their website to encourage as many people as possible to turn out. Around 150 riders attended on Saturday with only one failing to make it because of a puncture caused by the screws.

“The others managed to make it despite the punctures,” Dunlop said.

He added that the group would continue to publicise their routes on the webpage and were hoping for a turn-out of at least 200 for the Oban event on June 15.

Neil Mackay, one of the All Under One Banner (AUOB) march organisers, said the latest incident showed the Unionists were worried and growing desperate.

“They feel threatened so they are taking increasingly dangerous risks to stop us,” he said. “It shows we are winning.”

Organisers estimate that around 5000 people attended the march and have praised the crowd for refusing to be provoked by the small band of Unionist protestors who shouted abuse.

“It was a great turn-out when you consider the Scottish Borders was a No-voting area,” said Neil. “It was great to see so many Borderers get together as there is quite a lot of rivalry between the towns.

“The pipe band was here again and that made a big difference and we were lucky with the weather as it stayed dry.”

Singh added: “It was a great atmosphere and if it persuades anyone that voted No to think again that will be fantastic.”

The event was the first time an AUOB march has travelled through the Scottish Borders, and marks the second rally on the organisation’s Scotland tour following the 100,000 turn-out in Glasgow.