ORGANISERS of the Forward as One march and rally for independence in Dunfermline are calling for a big turnout at today’s event in response to the UK Government’s “massive constitutional vandalism”.

Convener Martin Keatings contacted The National yesterday to urge people to attend. He said: “I think that in light of the severe and substantive issues Scotland is faced with, and the massive constitutional vandalism that has happened in the last week before our very eyes, now more than ever we need to kick the campaign into high gear.

“There can be absolutely no doubt that Scotland is facing the single biggest threat to devolution since its inception 20 years ago. We, as a movement need to send a clear and unequivocal message to the UK Government that Scotland’s voice will not be ignored and to MSPs of all parties at Holyrood that we expect them to act in our best interests. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union and we did not vote for a Conservative Government at Westminster.

“However, what we have ended up with is a hard-right-wing Conservative Government led by a man who has absolutely no mandate to govern, let alone make sweeping constitutional changes.”

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Keatings went on: “Simultaneous to this, we have the Scottish Conservatives repeating a mantra of ‘We said No and we meant it!’. To that, I would say that the fundamental right to engage our democratic right to decide our own constitutional future is not just guaranteed by the claim of right, averred at both Holyrood and Westminster, but is also a matter of international convention.

“So important is the right to self-determination that the United Nations made it the very first paragraph of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a covenant to which the UK is a signatory, stating: ‘All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.’ “We need to send a clear message to Westminster, and for those who are unfamiliar with the history of Dunfermline, it is for all intents and purposes not just an ancient capital of Scotland, but indeed the last capital of Scotland where sovereignty lay with the Scottish people before the Union of Crowns.

“It is, therefore, one of the most appropriate places in Scotland, I feel, for us to assert the sovereignty of the Scottish people. There is a time to be silent and there is a time to stand. In that spirit, I invite Yessers old and new, and every member of the public who has an open mind, to join us.”

Today’s march assembles from 10.30am at Viewfield Terrace Dunfermline (off Eastport/High Street) and moves off at noon to Pittencrieff Park. A rally commences there at 1pm.