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Thousands join march for Scottish independence

[Press center 1] time:2023-06-02 04:15:08 source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center5 click:194order

Thousands of Scottish independence campaigners marched through the streets of Glasgow during the Coronation.

The event, organised by All Under One Banner, culminated in a rally in Glasgow Green where ex-first minister Alex Salmond addressed the crowd.

Other speakers included SNP MP Joanna Cherry and party leadership candidate Ash Regan.

Traffic was brought to a standstill as the saltire-waving supporters set off from Kelvingrove Park in the west end.

At the rally Mr Salmond told the crowd: "The independent Scotland we seek will be based on equality not aristocracy and on human talent and ability not entitlement of birth.

"We are not looking backwards with Britain but forwards to a better Scotland"

SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes was also scheduled to speak but pulled out on Saturday due to flu.

Organisers later tweeted that more than 20,000 people took part in the march.

In the independence referendum in 2014, Scotland voted against becoming an independent country by 55% to 45%.

Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon had said she wanted a vote to take place on 19 October this year.

But last November the Supreme Court ruled the Scottish government cannot hold an independence referendum without the UK government's consent.

Since becoming first minister, Humza Yousaf has demanded a Section 30 order - to allow another referendum - but that has not been accepted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Earlier in the week Mr Salmond said Police Scotland should have staged a "standoff" outside Edinburgh Castle to prevent the Stone of Destiny from being moved to London for the Coronation.

He said such a move could have been used as a bargaining tool in the push for a second independence referendum.

The stone was taken to London last week after First Minister Humza Yousaf attended a ceremony during which it was removed from its resting place at the castle.

The stone has been used to crown monarchs of Scotland, and later the UK, in a tradition dating back centuries.

But Mr Yousaf dismissed the suggestion of involving the police, and said it would have "not been the right thing to do".

Meanwhile, Our Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, staged a protest on Calton Hill in Edinburgh.

The event included speeches from Scottish government minister and Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater, as well as SNP MP Tommy Sheppard and Green MSP Maggie Chapman.

One speaker said 3,000 activists had already signed the "Declaration of Calton Hill" in support of a democratically-elected head of state instead of a monarch.

During the rally a crowd of around 500 also chanted: "Not My King".

(editor-in-charge:Press center5)

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