All Under One Banner – plans for 2021
Since October 2014 All Under One Banner (AUOB) has held twenty-two marches for independence across Scotland; mass mobilisations the people made manifest; mass gatherings that sustained, recharged, focused, grew and strengthened the Yes movement; mass demonstrations that empowered the people to intensify and accelerate the National campaign.
Since October 2014 All Under One Banner (AUOB) has held twenty-two marches for independence across Scotland; mass mobilisations the people made manifest; mass gatherings that sustained, recharged, focused, grew and strengthened the Yes movement; mass demonstrations that empowered the people to intensify and accelerate the National campaign. From 2014 to 2017 the first seven of these marches took place at Glasgow- establishing the organisation in its home city and generating the momentum, one march after another. In 2018 AUOB took the marches across the country from Glasgow to Dumfries, Bannockburn, Inverness, Dundee and Edinburgh- with hundreds of thousands attending to show support for self-determination, and again in 2019 AUOB took the marches from Glasgow to Galashiels, Oban, Ayr, Campbeltown, Aberdeen, Perth and Edinburgh – with the Edinburgh march being the largest demonstration for independence ever to take place in Scottish history, with over 200K supporters out for independence on the streets of the Nation ‘s capital.
In 2020 AUOB, again, had a planned National schedule from Arbroath to Glasgow, Peebles, Bannockburn, Elgin, Kirkcaldy, Stirling and Edinburgh – but after the 2019 UK General election we called an emergency march which took place at Glasgow on 11th January where over 80K people defied torrential rain and gale force winds to show support for an Independent Scotland. With the arrival of Covid and the ensuing Lockdown in March, we unfortunately had to call off the Arbroath march and within a short period of time had to call off all the entire year’s schedule. However, AUOB did not stop, but instead adapted and continued the campaign with online ceilidhs for every march that was postponed and regular zoom broadcasts on a variety of interesting topics- then as restrictions eased we called a press conference on 23rd June outside the Scottish Parliament to announce that we would hold one static-rally every month at key locations across Scotland until times changed.
The first three static-rallies were successfully held in: July at the Scottish Parliament, August on Bannockburn field and September outside BBC HQ/Pacific Quay. These small, short duration, outdoor-activity events were able to safely take place within the restrictions with an emphasis on face coverings, physical distancing and good hand hygiene- along with a registration process that ensured the numbers of participants were manageable and that there was data that could be utilised for test and trace purposes if required. These static-rallies were well attended and received significant media attention- generating lots of great pictures which kept the struggle for independence in the spotlight, as well as ensuring the movement was able to move and get together again- albeit in very small numbers and under highly controlled conditions. In September 2020 we announced the next three static-rallies which were to be held at: Dundee in October, Coldstream in November and at the Scottish Parliament in December- however as the weeks unfolded we had to cancel each event due to the tightening of restrictions.
During this period, when we were unable to take to the streets, we turned our minds to strategy and decided to call two Assemblies in November to facilitate the creation of a new National Yes membership organsiation which has since come to be called ‘Now Scotland’. Both Assemblies were very well attended by individuals and groups from across the breadth of the movement and the result was the election of an inaugural National committee charged with the task of getting the new organisation on its feet and launched to the world. It is at this point in time that AUOB’s role ended, and we are proud to say we enacted the key role in this most worthy and needed process.
In December 2020 AUOB embarked on the first of a series of high-profile Zoom panels when we held the successful ‘Plan B’ event to enable independence supporters to ask questions direct and engage in a forum of discussion and debate on this very important topic- something that was, and still is, desperately needed during these times. Since the new year AUOB has held a further three very well received Zoom panels; one on ‘The Deepening crisis of the British state; routes to independence and unity’ and two on ‘Strategies for Independence’- the former alongside speakers from Yes Cymru and Yes for Unity, and the latter with a broad variety of panelists from across the movement.
And so, as we fast approach the start of March- and in respect of AUOB’s plans for 2021- we want to make some important announcements.
In Spring 2020, as previously stated, we postponed all 2020 marches until 2021 in the hope that they could all go ahead the following year. However, looking ahead at the rest of 2021 from this point in time, and taking into account the foreseeable timescale of the easing of restrictions, we have made the decision to cancel the following marches: Arbroath 3rd April, Glasgow 1st May, Peebles 12th June, Bannockburn 26th June, Elgin 3rd July and Kirkcaldy 7th August. It is with regret that we have made this decision for we know that everyone is keen to take to the streets again; that we are all desperate to get out and about to take action and eager to reconnect and be amongst people after what feels like an aeon of isolation. However what matters most is that mass gatherings take place when they are safe to do so; safe not just for the participants who make the marches happen, but safe for the population of Scotland at large – whether they support independence or not, and so this is the correct course of action to take.
The two marches we are not cancelling are at Stirling on 11th September and Edinburgh 2nd October- as it is foreseeable that both will be able to proceed and be all that we want them to be. Nevertheless, we promise that if AUOB is able to call a march before September then we will- giving everyone 28 days' notice for a march to take place in one of the cities and happening on a Saturday for maximum participation. For every march that has been cancelled (Arbroath 3rd April, Glasgow 1st May, Peebles 12th June, Bannockburn 26th June, Elgin 3rd July, Kirkcaldy 7th August) AUOB will hold a static-rally (at each location on the dates the marches would have taken place) to mark the occasions and keep the movement moving. AUOB will also call protests at key targets- such as the new UK Govt Colonial outpost at Edinburgh- as it’s vital that we peacefully protest to make our voices heard and our presence felt- so, expect announcements about this as restrictions start to ease.
In addition to these plans AUOB will continue to hold highly effective Zoom panels over the weeks and months to come, with a series of four panels soon to be announced to take place in the run up to the Scottish Parliamentary election- four highly topical events that will platform a wide range of panelists from across the movement to enable much sought after discussion and debate as we build-up to the 6th May; the election that needs to be transformed into the independence election as the age of devolution is fast coming to an end.
The movement will keep on keeping on, and this is exactly what AUOB is doing. We look forward to when times change and we can all take part in electric mass gatherings again, but until then we will do everything we can. It is more important than ever to up the ante and exert maximum pressure, so AUOB will continue to intensify and accelerate the campaign to restore independence and end the Union as a matter of urgency, with no rest till Yes. Now is the Time Scotland.