Once we got there, Léon and Anna got a face-paint, and we then marched with at least 10,000 other people down to Princes Street Gardens, where we listened to speeches by Alex Salmond, Margo MacDonald, Dennis Canavan, Aamer Anwar, Alan Bissett and many other interesting people and listened to music by Dougie MacLean, Gleadhraich and others.
The purpose for this? It was the March and Rally for Scottish Independence. The event will be repeated again next year, and then again in 2014, just before the Independence Referendum.
It was a great event, and I hope many of you will join us next year!
If I might offer some positive criticism, here are some point to improve on for next year’s march and rally:
- Advertise it much, much more! I know many people — even those that had signed the Yes Declaration with their email address — were not told about it, and the mainstream media largely ignored until yesterday.
- Find a larger venue. Although we just fitted in Princes Street Gardens, people on the back rows were complaining the couldn’t hear the speeches, and if there had been twice as many of us, it would have been a disaster. Find a venue with enough space for 50,000 people next time.
- Think about catering and breaks and such things. Many people started drifting away after an hour or so. I’m sure it was partly caused by hunger, thirst and sore bottoms. If the weather had been worse (which is quite likely in September), I can imagine even more people would have given up soon after arriving.
- Put an end to the official programme relatively early, even if there’s an unofficial programme afterwards. If that was done, people could be asked to remain until the end of the official programme — that’s harder to do when it stretches from 11am to 4pm.