THE Yes movement is gearing up to receive the verdict from the UK Supreme Court on whether Scotland can legislate for an advisory independence referendum.

So far, 11 rallies are organised to take place across Scotland on Wednesday, with the intention to draw the world’s eyes to our quest for independence.

Lesley Riddoch, columnist and broadcaster, and a team of activists have organised the rallies to coincide with the decision announcement on Wednesday.

A small steering group, working under the banner Time for Scotland, is organising sound systems, speakers, music and banners across Scotland.

The main rally is to be held at Holyrood and 10 others will be held – in Glasgow, Perth, Dundee, Borders, Inverness, Skye, Inverurie, Greenock, Aberdeen and Dumfries.

The Sunday National has talked to activists working hard to make Scotland’s voice as loud as possible on this historic day.


THE rally in the capital will be the main rally of the moment and the core group have been liaising with Scottish Parliament authorities, so everything is “ready to roll” for the verdict day.

The idea to have a reactionary rally is inspired by the demonstration held on January 31st 2021 in reaction to Scotland leaving Europe against her will.

The crowd is expected to be 5000 or more at Holyrood.

Lindsay McCrea, Yes Edinburgh and Lothian convener, has said that the group is “ready to party”.

He said: “I’m bursting with hope that sense has been seen in the Supreme Court and the expected rally of 5000 plus at Holyrood will be in a relieved celebratory mood.

“Yes Edinburgh and Lothian are ready to party. Placards and banners are well underway. Bring it on.”


YES Greater Glasgow is the regional umbrella group for Yes groups in Glasgow. Pre-pandemic they would co-ordinate and organise events to network across the city but for now, they are assisting in facilitating the organisation of the rally in Glasgow.

Adrian Doherty said the group are looking to get sound equipment for musicians, flyers are being distributed and the task for the next few days is to logistically organise speakers

Doherty pointed to moments in history such as the Vietnam War, where people power changed the course of history by mass demonstrations and said Scotland must do the same.

He added: “The key thing is just to make your voice heard, be visible, on the record for that moment of history where a decision is taken. Things are going on in Scotland and we need to mark those moments by coming out and showing our interest in them. We’ll either be celebrating or protesting that negative decision.”

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Glasgow being the largest proportion of Yessers, Doherty does have a concern that if there is a negative decision, people may get too “altercated”. The group have informed the police that the demonstration will be taking place.

Doherty said: “If hundreds of people turn out, we would like to have some police about to be around to just make sure things stay sensible.”


ALAN Petrie, organiser for the Aberdeen independence movement (AIM), compared the last few weeks for a Yes activist to what Christmas is to a child.

He said: “Waiting for the Supreme Court findings has been a bit like waiting for Santa as a child, you’ve got excitement, but you’ve also fear.”

Activists are hoping for a fair turnout in all locations, and they know both the result and the weather will play a part in this.

Petrie said: “Hopefully the weather is ok, but I think it really depends on the result. If it’s a Yes or No then we could get a good rally but There is a high chance there could be that sort of in between type of result, so I don’t know how it would go if it was that. It’ll be strange.

“It’ll hopefully just mean we’ll get on and campaign, cause there’s always been this kind of frustration when organising anything, like you don’t know quite how to play it. Is there going to be a referendum or is there not? If there is, it’s like we can just get the campaign head on straight away.

“Rallies and protest at the right time is a powerful thing that can change the course of history and if there was ever a better time it’s this Wednesday evening.”

SNP, Greens, AIM, RMT union, Labour, will all be represented by speakers and music is being enquired about.


JANE Phillips, member of Dundee and Angus for Independence and organiser for SNP Broughty Ferry, has received lots of interest and positive feedback for the event in the weeks prior to the date being confirmed and now it has – excitement is in the air.

Kirriemuir Pipers will attend with their Yes group and singers are to be confirmed. Philips is aiming for people to “express how they feel” on this historic night.

Broadcaster Billy Kay will be speaking in the square, with other speakers being confirmed.

Dundee for Indy had a meeting on Wednesday morning, just before the announcement at lunchtime, to plan some elements. The group thought they had four weeks to organise, and that became a week, “so it’s now all hands-on deck”.

Philips said: “I think the rest of the world, or Europe at least, will be looking at this. I was speaking to my brother, who is a retired lawyer, and he is saying he’s not entirely convinced this will go against us. By the letter of the law, he reckons we have a good chance.”

While Philips hopes that the judgement of the Supreme Court will be favourable to the Yes movement, she said: “it is outrageous that we are anxiously awaiting the judgement of a court in a neighbouring country, pronouncing on whether or not Scots may exercise their democratic right to make decisions about their own future. It is grotesque.”

“Bring your placards – bring your banners – whatever the judgement, the work goes on to bring about independence. The idea of self-determination is out there, it cannot be unknown and unseen. When an idea is in the minds of the people, it is only a matter of time until it will come to pass. So, we keep working.”

Linda Clark told us that some of Yes Forfar will be joining Dundee’s rally.

Clark said: “If Scotland ever needed her old and new Scots, it’s now. Let there be something to celebrate in the Yes city!”


AYE Hawick is organising their efforts in Selkirk, a fairly central point of the borders - and the gathering will double as a tribute to William Wallace.

Colin Hope, convenor of Aye Hawick, expected the verdict in the first few weeks of the new year, so this week is full of last-minute preparations in between work.

He said it was important that these rallies are widespread as it shows the movement “is not just in the central belt”.

“We’ve chosen Selkirk as it’s central to the region and historic. We are going to meet in the Square and then walk the 200m or so to the Kirk o’ the Forest, which is where William Wallace gathered the Scottish nobles and representatives of the church around him and held a parliament that made him the Guardian of Scotland.”

From the forest, Wallace set out to defeat the English, and to re-establish his Scotland into a free, independent country and from that moment in 1297 to this in 2022, the activists relate to Wallace’s rebellion. Both these elements make the forest an incredibly appropriate location.


DR Jacqui Jenson said Perth had “quite ambitious plans” and even though the decision is coming quicker than expected, they are still able to do it all.

William Duguid will be making a speech as well as have two groups of local musicians and a highland dancer – “it’ll be like a wee concert; it’ll be good fun.”

Jenson said: “We had a night at Birnham and Lesley came and spoke to us. She was saying there that we have our numbers in Edinburgh but how about we push it out to other places? so I volunteered to get a group of people together from that audience. It’s really exciting, we’re a group of indy supporters, some of us activists and some have never volunteered before.”

Jenson, who lived in England for 35 years, said: “I joined the SNP the morning after the Brexit vote whilst I was living in Devon, so I was a little branch on my own.” She came home to Perth in March 2021 and since moving back, she feels as though she has found a community in amongst the Yessers.

Jensen got “stuck in straight away”, she is convenor for Perthshire North constituency association, branch organiser for Perth River Tay, volunteers in the Hub and is Believe in Scotland’s mid-Scotland representative.

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The group are hoping some of the crowds heading into the Perth Concert Hall for the David Bowie experience will see the rally and join.

Jenson said: “The message is it will be joyful and celebratory. Whatever the decision on Wednesday morning, that is our starting gun, we’ve gone through that first gate to our new journey of independence, and we know what we’re up against.

“It will be an amazing night, because we’ll galvanise the Yes movement and drive our communities to where it wants to get to.”


DAVID Howdle has been a member of Dumfries and Galloway Pensioners for Indy since 2018 and has been instrumental in organising the rally in Dumfries.

When asked if he thinks the rallies will mobilise non-active members, Howdle said: “I think it has done already. I’ve got a spreadsheet of contact details to update folk about the rallies and folk are getting in touch to say, count me in and they are people that we’ve never heard of. So, we’re pleased about that.”

Howdle argues that if the Supreme Court judgement goes against the Scottish Government, it is legitimate to ask how the nation of Scotland – supposedly an ‘equal partner’ in the UK – can ever hold a lawful vote about its own future.

“Denial of a vote would be blatantly undemocratic. If we can’t get a vote – where are we supposed to turn? What really hacks me off is Keir Starmer coming up here a week or so ago and spouting off. He clearly didn’t have a clue that the culture and way of thinking is completely different here.

“The rallies will hopefully waken people up and make them realise that there are folk who feel really strongly about this.”

Some people are putting forward written submissions to be read out to the pop-up crowd and be printed in the local paper. Brandon O’Donnell, a founding member of South Scotland Independence Movement from Locharbriggs in Dumfries, will be attending on Wednesday.

He said: “The rally in Dumfries is in a very historic location with it having a long alliance of support for an independent Scotland being close to the border with England. It’s right in the epicentre of the campaign for independence so it very much adds to the emotion of the day whether it be good or bad news from the Supreme Court this is just the start of a very exciting campaign.”


Inverness has had a change of location. They will no longer be meeting at the castle, instead the venue is Inverness Townhouse.


Inverurie Yessers will be meeting at Inverurie Town Hall at 5:30pm. It is being organised by Garioch Women for Change.


Yes Skye and Lochalsh are organising to meet at Portree Sheriff Court in Portree Square. They might have a street stall in the square, depending on weather conditions.


Activists in Greenock will meet at the Lyle fountain in Cathcart Square.