The radical road up Salisbury Crags got its name because pro-democracy labourers building it held meetings there to avoid bans within the city of Edinburgh, back in the era of Peterloo. This is precisely where Historic Environment Scotland are banning tomorrow’s Independence rally, and if we accept it we are turning our back on our heritage.
As somebody who has addressed half a million people in Hyde Park, I find the notion that political events may not be held in Royal Parks ludicrously spurious. Holyrood Park is a park – the clue is in the name. We are not asking to occupy the Palace. Where can you hold a political rally if not in a park?
In Stirling, the AUOB march was forced by the council on a route to Bannockburn that avoided the town centre entirely and wandered through leafy lanes to ensure nobody could see the demonstration. What is happening in Edinburgh is still worse.
I have been constantly explaining that we are now in a Catalan situation. The Establishment will do everything they can to prevent a second Independence Referendum, and local authority offices, quangos and media outlets form their outward defensive barriers – before you even get to the Scottish Office, and the dirty tricks that will be played by the UK security services.
The Tories have already announced that Westminster will not agree to another Indyref before 2027. We have a fundamental stand to make on whether we accept that a parliament in England dominated massively by representatives of England, has a veto on the self-determination of the Scottish people.
One day, all supporters of Independence are going to be forced to get their heads round the fact that London is going for the Madrid solution, and we are not going to achieve Independence without using peaceful, non-violent routes which are nevertheless going to be deemed illegal by the Establishment. Making a political speech in a Royal Park tomorrow is precisely the start of such challenges.
Our rally starts in Johnstone Terrace, where my father was born, and proceeds right past my current home. This is my ground and I am, as a citizen, going to stand for my rights here.