It’s been a tiring weekend, but one of those weekends where you feel you have achieved something by not doing much at all.
My family and I left Aberdeenshire at around 815am on Saturday morning on our way to Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow.
I’m not familiar with Glasgow and it was the first march I had attended, I wasn’t sure how many people would be there or where the best place to park was so I decided to park at the SECC multi storey car park. We arrived at the car park at 11am.
I was aware that the walk to the park from the SECC would take around 20 minutes so when we arrived it was a quick walk up, with a very brief toilet break en-route.
We could hear the faint sounds of pipes and drums as we approached Kelvingrove, but my wife and I were still not overly sure just how many people would be in support.
The weather when we left Aberdeenshire was blue sky and mild, as we drove through Perthshire, the rain came on and I suddenly felt downbeat. My wife was quick to say that a little rain won’t put people off the march. Thankfully in Glasgow it was dry, but chilly.
As we entered the park, we walked up with groups of other ‘Yes’ marchers towards the paths in the centre, I could finally get a glimpse of the numbers of people.
The clock nearby struck 1130 and let out a ‘dong’. I could hear the people cheer and slowly they started to move forward.
My wife and I joined the procession at around ¼ back from the front. Behind us, as far as i could see were flags waving and people. It was huge!
I looked at my wife and smiled, she was crying.
I asked her why she was crying and she told me it was because it put the desire for independence into perspective.
Its different walking it than talking it.
She was right. I could feel the contagious nature of the emotion in me as i hugged her.
I looked around and as far as I could see there was a diverse group of people, all of them smiling.
There were children, older people, disabled people, people from different races and countries. This was the independence movement. This was a movement i was proud to be a part of.
My wife doesn’t blog, she doesn’t have social media anymore and she doesn’t care much for involving herself to the same level as I do with politics.
She does of course discuss things with me, and she is an independence supporter but she didn’t feel the need to embrace the movement to the same level as I do. She prefers to talk to people about it rather than tweet or post about it. We have a good balance at home on the issue.
But as we marched through Glasgow waving our flags and cheering with the thousands of others, she found her voice and she made it heard. She embraced the movement far more than I did. She came into her own and the march was her way of blogging and tweeting.
As we approached Glasgow Green, we passed by two small groups of Unionists, the first group contained about 12 people, all older white men and women, they were fairly placid, doing what they were entitled too, as we were. We marched on by singing and blowing whistles.
As we approached the second and last group of 4 or 5 Unionists, I could see two males standing with Union Jacks doing the Nazi salute. Middle aged white men, doing a Nazi salute in 2018 Scotland!
Glasgow Green came into sight, we walked in through the gates to the expanse of the park. We walked up towards the stage and browsed through the various ‘Yes’ stands.
Tommy Sheppard and Craig Murray entered the stage. Both very good at what they do but I have to say that Craig Murray was fantastic. He is a very articulate speaker and appears to be on the same level as the ‘DIY Yes’ movement, with only a small amount of politics involved. He brings the discussion down to a level that’s easy to understand and easy to relate too.
We had walked the 4 miles and my wife and I had enjoyed being part of the wider ‘Yes’ movement and we are both looking forward to the next march at Bannockburn and Inverness.
We had done what we felt we needed to do. Show solidarity with the wider ‘DIY Yes’ movement, just as the Unionists on the route had felt they needed to do.
We all have the choice to play a part in Scotland’s history in 2018 and beyond. Some of us chose to be active, I like others chose not to until this weekend but I have now made the choice to be more active going forward.
The coming months and years will bring about a choice. No matter what any political party or elected government says should happen, the people will decide. The movement for independence is not going away, neither is the movement for Unionism, the campaign for ‘Yes’ is gearing up, the campaign for Unionism hasn’t stopped but the right to choose again whether or not Scotland wants self-determination will be put to the people. Whether they say ‘Yes’ this time or not, only time will tell.