ORGANISERS of the Chain of Freedom have issued an update to grassroot activists taking part in the event on October 14.

It comes as the organisation has been told the group cannot use canal tow paths linking West Dunbartonshire with the Edinburgh for the proposed 77,000 person human chain.

The initial plan was for activists to join across 66 miles of the Forth, Clyde and Union Canal paths linking Scotland’s largest city and its capital.

The group will now be using the Forth and Clyde Canal path ONLY - cutting the route by an estimated 20 miles.

Organisers say that despite being in touch with Scottish Canals since January 2023, the group have only just been “advised that we are forbidden to use the Union Canal” for the event.

On Tuesday night, the group emailed “every person and every group” who had chosen the Union Canal route as their preferred section.

A post updating members on the event’s Facebook page does state the event will still go ahead despite the change of plans.

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Organiser Wilma Bowie wrote: “Regardless of extensive and exhaustive negotiations, Scottish Canals have stated that the ‘Union Canal’ is unfit and unsafe for the public to use, under the Chain of Freedom Scotland’s capacity and volume of supporters, notwithstanding (pardon the pun) being informed that ‘thousands of public uses of the canal on a daily basis’.

An email will be sent to all who have registered to use the Union Canal location in participation of the chain, to either be moved automatically to a new section or choose a new section.

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Bowie added her apology, writing: “Our hands have literally been tied. We are more than aware, that those who have already made arrangements, may have to change but nothing will ever come easy with our path to an Independent Scotland.

“We overcome and adapt. We will not give up or be discouraged”.

Admins and supporters now have “an added task of transferring and rearranging those already registered” – the group asks for patience while changes are made.

Bowie concludes by noting, “how ironic ~ the ‘Union’ Canal has been closed off to independence supporters”, while one member replied, “to be renamed the Independence Canal in a few short years...?”.

Scottish Canals has been approached for comment.