The Gathering: 500 leaders from grassroots Yes movement


By Irene McEwan

Hats off to Eddie Smith and Jason Baird for a well planned and inspiring first Gathering of members of the Yes movement. A hall full of at least 500 people on a beautiful sunny Sunday demonstrates clearly not only their wish for independence but also their wish for true grassroots involvement in achieving a new Scotland. There were no glum faces but plenty of welcoming smiles and shared experiences. Groups from Orkney to the Scottish Borders were represented and ready for participation and action. Congratulations also go to AyeMail who have worked hard with the administration to ensure success.

Although Mhairi Black could not attend in person her video talk sending her good wishes set the scene for the day. Dennis Canavan’s keynote speech was well received. It was clear, authoritative and hopeful.

Passion in their hearts

Choosing a topic for workshop participation from the 21 on offer was not easy but it seemed to work well and all topics were covered. I was particularly interested to see that topic number 21 was discussing ‘Big bang’ to mark the moment Indyref2 is called”. It was clearly apparant that there is a marvellous talent of thinkers in Scotland with facts at their finger tips, passion in their hearts and a wish to work together. This is what made the occasion truly inspiring. The facilitators did a particularly good job in encouraging groups and keeping the ideas flowing. Each of the groups made a short presentation using powerpoint considering the agreed proposal, why it was needed, the resources needed eg skill sets, money, time etc and the impact it would hopefully achieve. The use of the IndyApp would help to find and share resources and encourage mass participation.

A vote was held to choose 5 topics to be developed in greater detail during the afternoon session. These sessions were attended by those who were particularly interested and/or who may have a specialist knowledge. Those not involved heard short 2 minute presentations from reprsentatives from Business for Scotland, Keep Scotland the brand, iScot Magazine, Independence Live, The Scottish Hand and The Indy Pledge. All of these people were then available to discuss issues.


The aim of the day was to have produced a networked body of activists from different communities, energised by collectively exploring 21 topics essential to our preparation for winning IndyRef2; to have turned face to face meetings and networking into direct contact via private messaging using the IndyApp and to provide synopsis for each topic to be used as profiles for each new “Gathering Topic” group on the IndyApp. These new groups will be responsible for making their topic post on the National Forum of IndyApp 2.0.

Well done all. Great networking on the day and great networking to come on the IndyApp.

The Gathering was held in The Albert Halls, Stirling Sunday 27th May 2018


  1. No doubt all very worthy but this stuff isn’t going to get the masses racing to the betting shop to take a punt on that dead cert ‘Scottish Independence’ to win by a comfortable length sometime soon. Mind grabbing AGITPROP it ain’t.
    The National Movement patently lacks leadership. The SNP, in the form of the current government, is good at managing but as a party it is not going to start any political wildfires, more likely to extinguish any that might spontaneously ignite.
    A venerable blogger elsewhere opined that the striving for independence is revolutionary or it is nothing. For many that R word is just way too rich.

  2. Like most people in the movement I am anxious to get started but frustrating as it maybe Nicola is right we have to bide our time once the likley consequences of the Brexit negotiations are clearer. I note that on Twitter at least the Scottish Office is making a big play of the cross border trade with rUK and dependent employment which I’m sure will be the mainstay of any future ‘Better Together’ and it is this we have to have clear answer to if we are going to sway the doubters especially amongst the older generation. Recently retired I only got involved in the campaign by accident and accompanied a very able young student in the early days but quickly realised by the reaction on the doorstep we need people of my generation (70 now) to get involved as only then will we reach those that get ALL their news via the BBC/STV and worst still the MSM. Amongst some of my own friends I have only recently started emailing them alternative websites to counter this misinformation coming from the traditional sources. The recent report bhy A Wilson has been helpful but we need a condensed version to get the main message across.


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