SKYE BRIDGE MARCH: Independence campaigners rally in Kyleakin

Campaigners on the march Pic Willie Urquhart

Unity of purpose was the call last Saturday as over 200 independence campaigners and activists from all over Scotland made the best of the cold, dreich conditions to march across the Skye Bridge.

He added: “I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout, given the typical Skye weather. It was exciting to see the number of people from all over Scotland who came to the march. It wasn’t just a few local people.”

One of those who did was SNP councillor Drew Millar from Portree, who told the Free Press that this was his first march since the days of protests against Skye Bridge tolls. 

Councillor Drew Millar was a veteran of bridge marches against tolls Pic Willie Urquhart

Saturday’s march was the fourth of six national events planned for this year.

On the future of the cause, Mr Millar added: “I am not sure what the best way forward is, but if we keep asking for referendums, are we ever going to get one? So we have to look at other ways.

“I am starting to follow this group called Salvo, to see what they are talking about, how we can press forward towards independence.

Over 200 joined the march Pic Willie Urquhart

“I honestly don’t believe we will ever get a referendum, courtesy of the Westminster Government because they don’t want to lose their most valuable asset.

“They are never going to let us go voluntarily.

“Challenging through the sovereignty of the Scottish people in what Salvo are all about. The SNP need to be involved in that as they are the only political mechanism around at the moment, but we should not be dismissing any organisation which has independence as their target.

Pic Willie Urquhart

“We all need to work together. There’s an old strategy called ‘divide and rule’ so we all need to unite behind the one aim.”

Speakers on the Corran, Kyleakin, where the marchers gathered after coming from Kyle were; SNP leadership candidate Ash Regan, Jimmy Reid Foundation director Robin McAlpine, Alba Party candidate Hector MacLeod and Yes Skye and Lochalsh co-ordinator Carole Inglis.

Ms Inglis told the Free Press: “There was a good local turnout for the All Under One Banner rally, and in spite of the wet and windy weather, spirits weren’t dampened. 

“All who took the stage spoke of the urgent need for change, calling on politicians and the grassroots to unite and bring about independence.

Pic Willie Urquhart

“The day was tinged with sadness however, by the news that one of the Yes Bikers had been seriously injured on his way, closing the A87 for a number of hours, and who sadly died the following day. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Also at the weekend, police attended an address on Kyleside, Kyleakin, on Saturday morning after a Union flag and pole was torn down overnight.

The flag went back up later that day, was taken down again, but had been restored to the householder’s garden by Monday.

Article by Michael Russell