THE organisers of this weekend’s Freedom March in Inverness have received a substantial boost with the news that the Yes movement’s very own pipe band, Saor Alba Pipes and Drums, will travel to the city on Saturday to lead the march.

The band told The National: “Saor Alba Pipes and Drums are delighted to announce that we will be leading the Freedom March, the locally organised march for Scottish independence in Inverness on January 25.

“We look forward to encouraging and inspiring the independence movement in the capital of the Highlands.”

The group added: “Saor Alba Pipes and Drums is a grassroots organisation formed to support Scotland’s independence marches.

“We first came together for the Edinburgh march in 2018, and since then we have organised formally. Our members travel from a wide range of locations, from Sutherland to the Borders, and from as far away as England and France.”

READ MORE: Yes DIY: Freedom March set for Inverness on Burns Day

In a Facebook statement, the march’s organising team said they were “so grateful for all the support we have received while we are organising this march. It is all very much appreciated.”

Organiser Eilidh MacCoinnich said: “We have two start points, one at Walker Park and the other at the bottom of Stephen’s Brae.

“Stephen’s Brae is a pretty steep decline so please only commit to that route if you can manage it. If you won’t manage the hill for any reason please meet us at the bottom of Stephen’s Brae.

“There is a bench area where you can wait, this is located outside Eastgate Shopping Centre – the Marks & Spencer side, near Game.”

The march is due to start at 1pm and the route has been approved by Highland Council.

Meanwhile, plans are developing around the country for protests on and around Brexit Day – we’ll report on them later this week.

One of the biggest is set to be a public rally and protest demonstration which will take place outside the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood on Saturday, February 1, between noon and 2.30pm.

The organisers say the rally is being held “to show popular support for Scotland’s democracy, to protest that Scotland is being ripped out of the European Union against the Scottish people’s expressed will to Remain and to highlight the intended power grab by Westminster of powers that are rightfully devolved to the Scottish Government”.

“Furthermore, Westminster is attempting to deny our right to choose,” they said.

The organisers added that this is what was predicted at Hands Off Our Parliament (HOOP) protest some 21 months ago and they are calling on Yessers to attend the rally and show Scotland’s dismay at Brexit.