THOUSANDS took part yesterday in the first independence march since Nicola Sturgeon launched the campaign for indyref2.

The rally organised by All Under One Banner (AUOB), gathered in Bannockburn, and was timed to take place just after the anniversary of Robert the Bruce’s victory over the English army in 1314 at the site.

It also marked the 30th march organised by AUOB, which tweeted: “We are proud to announce that over 2000 Yes supporters took to the streets of Stirling today on the march for independence.

“Well done to everyone who took part – the fight for independence is on.”

Speakers at the rally welcomed the plans for a second independence referendum and stressed the need for the Yes movement to unite.

Alyn Smith, the SNP MP for Stirling, told the crowd: “The SNP does not have the monopoly on the Yes movement – the SNP does not have the monopoly on independence.

Thousands marched for indyref2 at Saturday's rally

“And I will work with anyone of any party and none towards winning our country’s freedom. We cannot afford to be divided, we have to be united.”

He added: “We are here at Bannockburn battlefields, a moment of decisive turning point in Scotland’s national story.

“But I don’t want independence because of the old battles, the old flags, the old songs – we have got all that now.

“That is what made us who we are now, I want independence for the future of our country.”

Thousands marched for indyref2 at Saturday's rallySNP MP Alyn Smith attended the rally

Alba MP Kenny MacAskill, who also addressed at the rally, said: “I am delighted to hear we are having a referendum next year. I wish we had one before – I think there has been opportunities in recent years when we should have and could have struck.

“But strike we must, and so I will unite for a referendum next year – I will leaflet, chap doors, do what was necessary in 2014, and we will all be united.

Thousands marched for indyref2 at Saturday's rally

“But let’s be clear – a referendum there must be.”

Saor Alba Pipes And Drums led the march and the Yes Bikers were also in attendance. The march started at Auld Stirling Brig, with the rally held in Bannockburn Field.

Thousands marched for indyref2 at Saturday's rally

Thousands marched for indyref2 at Saturday's rally

Thousands marched for indyref2 at Saturday's rally