THE full extent of an apparent attempt to sabotage the Yes Bikers group during the All Under One Banner march and rally for independence in Galashiels on Saturday can be revealed by The National today.

Pictures show that the attempt to stop and possibly hurt and maim the Yes Bikers was deadly serious with sharp screws strewn across the road where the group was set to travel as it joined the main march.

As the Yes Bikers – always noisy and very welcome participants in the AUOB marches – made their way into Galashiels from Earlston it quickly became clear they had hit trouble at one spot as tyre after tyre was punctured.

The National:

As our pictures show, the dozens of screws were laid across the one side of the road on which the Yes Bikers were travelling, some of them with children as pillion passengers. The route had been posted on the group’s website.

At least seven bikes sustained punctures and one of the Yes Bikers found four screws in just one tyre.

Though the damage was confined to tyres, Yes Bikers and AUOB are concerned that had the group been travelling at any speed, there could have been bikes toppled and bikers and passengers seriously hurt.

The incident has been reported to the police, who confirmed to The National that they will be making a statement today.

As well as the sabotage attempt, the Galashiels march also saw the English Scots for Yes supporters being jeered as “traitors” by counter demonstrators who also hurled racial abuse at march organiser Manny Singh of AUOB.

The National:

The attack on the Yes Bikers is the second incident in a month featuring violence against the group following trouble in Glasgow during the march there on May 4, when Union Jack-waving thugs hurled traffic cones at the bikers and yelled abuse.

AUOB director of operations Singh, who is in charge of security and stewarding for the organisation, said it would be “impossible” to stop such an incident happening again.

He said: “If someone is determined to do this sort of thing then they will. It would be impossible for us to watch every yard of the route. I can only appeal to the people who did this to think very seriously about the consequences of their actions. The people riding the bikes and their passengers could have been seriously injured.

“Some of those passengers were young children - do the people that did this really want something like an injured child on their conscience?

“Violence is not the answer, and I would appeal to the Yes movement as a whole to not respond to the increasing provocation we are seeing.

“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.

“Ours is a peaceful movement and will remain so.”

The National:

The Yes Bikers have responded to the actions against them by redoubling their efforts to get even more bikes on future marches, with a call to ‘Thunder through Glencoe’ on the way to the next AUOB march in Oban a week on Saturday. They have also received messages of support from across the Yes movement while many others have been angered at the incident.

Steve Kelly wrote on the Yes Bikers Facebook page: “Sabotage? Can we call this what it is...Violence or intimidation in pursuit of political aims.

"MSM would have a terrorist label on every front page if any Yes group had endangered life like this.”

Helena Thomson wrote: “What a sleekit cowardly action. Stay safe lads and thank you.”