Whether we vote Yes or No in 2014 is less important to me than whether we can stand up as Scottish together and say to these white nationalists with their notion of “defending Scotland” against diversity, that we are Scotland, and we are our nation’s own defence against them.
Today at 1pm the “Scottish Defence League” will be holding a static rally outside the Parliament.
Now, it is truly difficult for me to see how SDL could be prevented from doing this. The space outside the Scottish Parliament was meant for people to gather and express their views peaceably: I would oppose any law curtailing peaceful protest there or that lets the police presume in advance that a protest will not be peaceable. What we can do is make their rally visibly irrelevant by showing up to peaceably protest against it.
They’re not having their static rally outside any place of business but The Queen’s Gallery (and the only exhibition on at the moment is The Queen: 60 Photographs for 60 Years, and honestly, who cares?) nor outside anybody’s home but the Queen’s and she’s got high fences, locked gates, and the British army. So there’s no one nearby whom they can intimidate.
And for EDL/National Front politics, that’s the point. They want – they wish! – they could show up in such big numbers, unopposed, that they would look like a movement: they would look scary, they would look like a force to be reckoned with, and occasionally in England they’re managed that.
Not in Scotland. So far in Scotland, every “SDL” rally of young white men out for trouble, has been met with a large crowd of Scots in all our glorious diversity, to send them homeward to think again – knowing themselves unwanted, defeated, and outnumbered.
11:30 outside City Chambers on the High Street, short march down to the Parliament to arrive just before 1pm. Let’s all go. See you there. Photos to follow.