Siobhan Tolland: Launching the Indy Pledge - a code of conduct for the Yes movement

CommonSpace columnist Siobhan Tolland unveils the Indy Pledge and encourages all Yes groups and individuals to sign up to the movement's values

THE end of March sees an important move forward for the Yes movement as a grassroots Indy Pledge is launched: a voluntary code of conduct for the movement to sign up to, as individuals or as groups.

Initiated by Yes Kelty with help from Yes Dunfermline, Yes Kirkintilloch and IndependenceLive.net, the code is positive assertion of our core values and ideals. Importantly, also, it is a grassroots attempt to ask groups and individuals to take responsibility for our own behaviour within the movement.

By and large, it is fair to say that our movement is a positive one and we work with respect for our fellow independence activists, as well as those who don’t support independence. Yet it has to be said that not everyone conducts themselves in such a way, and we want our pledge to allow an opportunity for self awareness and self reflection as we push the movement forward towards independence.

At the very heart of this pledge is the understanding that our movement will determine the Scotland we become. And if this is the Scotland we want, then this is the movement we must be.

At this moment in our movement, we have to start thinking in real, practical terms about the Scotland we want to build. An equal Scotland. A peaceful Scotland. A Scotland that promotes democracy and values our differences. We want a Scotland that encourages our people to thrive.

At the very heart of this pledge, then, is the understanding that our movement will determine the Scotland we become. And if this is the Scotland we want, then this is the movement we must be.

The Indy Pledge is not a prescriptive list of ‘do not’s’, and we are not expecting everyone to trauchle themselves up to Mount Sinai either. Instead, it is a positive assertion of what our values and beliefs are.

What we are asking is for individuals and organisations sign up to this pledge with a view to creating an en masse commitment to forward the movement in a positive way. The more people and groups subscribe to this code the more weight we can give to these principles. And the more it allows us to call out negative and divisive behaviour.

All this pledge really asks is that we all take a breath before we speak, act, write or behave like a keyboard warrior, because this is an issue that we can all take our own responsibility for. All of us, no matter what our role be in the Yes movement, are encouraged to ask of ourselves: does what I say or do have a positive or negative effect on the movement? And if it isn’t positive for the movement, then does it need to be acted upon?

And so here it is – please sign and share it among your networks.

Introducing the Indy Pledge – the Yes movement’s core principles

The Yes movement is now gathering pace. As we move further towards independence we recognise that, with this power, comes great responsibility.

The Indy Pledge is a voluntary code of conduct to which groups and individuals who support Scottish Independence are welcome to sign up.

This is an agreement of the Yes movement’s core values, offering simple positive principles, promoting our shared beliefs and actions as a force for positive change.

The intention is to encourage people to be mindful of how our actions, in person or online, can impact positively or negatively on the independence movement. By signing this pledge, individuals, groups and organisations are agreeing to abide by the following core principles:

- We are an inclusive movement that values all people equally and does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, gender, religious beliefs or non-beliefs or sexual orientation. We will promote this inclusiveness in all our expressions and actions.

We believe that a dynamic and creative movement will bring a thriving Scotland, and we want all people to play a role. Independence starts with our movement and we must reflect the Scotland we want to be.

- We work with respect for all people, regardless of our politics or differences of opinion.

- We are a peaceful organisation and apply peaceful means of achieving independence.

- We will promote a positive vision for independence.

- We will work constructively towards the goal of independence: as individuals and as a movement.

- We are an open grassroots movement and work with the utmost transparency in our ideas and actions.

- We are a broad and diverse movement and expect that each individual takes responsibility for their own actions and contributions to the campaign for independence.

- We are the grassroots of an independent Scotland. We believe that a dynamic and creative movement will bring a thriving Scotland, and we want all people to play a role. As we work towards independence, we will enable and encourage fellow members to develop their own skills and talents. Independence starts with our movement and we must reflect the Scotland we want to be.

With this in mind, we ask that all people and all groups sign up to this pledge and make our contributions ever mindful of these principles.

You can sign up to the Indy Pledge at indypledge.online and join the Facebook page.

Picture courtesy of Indy Pledge on Facebook

Look at how important CommonSpace has become, and how vital it is for the future #SupportAReporter