Pictures: Largest ever independence march displays “appetite” for ScotRef ahead of #GE17

Nicola Sturgeon says she would explore ‘progressive alliance’ between SNP and Labour

THE LARGEST ever independence march has taken place in a bid to challenge claims by unionists parties ahead of the General Election that there is no “appetite” for a referendum on Scottish autonomy.

Organisers claimed 20,000 joined the march from the Kelvin grove Bandstand in Glasgow’s West End to Glasgow Green in the east. One Police Scotland officer gave CommonSpace an “unofficial” estimate of 13,000. Protestors often claim that police figures underestimate real turnout.

 Another officer said he couldn’t provide a number, but the demonstration was the largest in recent years.

By the time the march reached the pedestrianised part of Sauchiehall street in the city centre, marchers were still leaving Kelvingrove.

Speaking to CommonSpace, Annette Chapman from Livingston said: “Things needed a wee shot in the arm in terms of positive political ideas with everything that’s happening in the world. This is a really positive, inclusive, peaceful movement.

“If it shows nothing else, it shows that a whole lot of people can come together and support something good, and in this case its independence. It’s the only way we can contribute to a peaceful world.

Speaking on the General Election, Chapman said she wanted a relationship between Corbyn’s Labour and the independence movement.

“I don’t want a Tory in. I hope Labour get in, and that they take a more progressive view towards independence,” she said.

“It’s a real possibility now that Corbyn gets into power. I hope he’s can see us as a working partnership.

Around half a dozen British nationalists were drowned out by thousands of independence marchers

“I’m definitely left of centre. I’d call myself a liberal with a ‘small l’ but erring towards socialist as I get older.

“We want to leave [the UK] on good terms.”

Around half a dozen British Nationalists held a counter protest as the march passed through George Square, waving large union flags. One man used a megaphone to shout about “Glorious Britannia” and “her glorious constitution”. He was drowned out by chants by demonstrators, who largely ignored the group.

CommonSpace understands that two of the British nationalists were former leading members of the far right British National Party in Scotland.

Speaking to CommonSpace at Glasgow Green, Chris Steele from Perth said: “I desperately want independence for Scotland. We don’t want to be controlled from Westminster any longer.

“Hopefully the Tories will be out completely in Scotland,” he said, but even in the event of them winning extra seats “we’d still hold the majority and an overwhelming mandate for a referendum.”

By the time the march reached the pedestrianised zone, marchers were still at the departure point at Kelvingrove park

He also said he’s rather see Corbyn become the next prime minister and listen to demands for a referendum.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Strugeon has said she will explore the possibility of a progressive alliance with Labour after the election in the event of a hung parliament, which the narrow poll lead for the Conservatives suggest is a possibility.

The Scottish Parliament voted to request powers to hold another referendum in March.

The General Election will be held on 8 June.

Pictures: CommonSpace

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is: Pledge your support today.