The independence referendum has energised Scotland. There is a diverse coalition of organisations campaigning for a Yes vote with 1000s of activists across the country.
Here is a short list of Yes campaign groups as well as independent groups which have enriched the debate:
This is the main campaign body for independence supporters. It has established hundreds of Yes local groups which have organised town hall meetings and canvass sessions every week across the country.
The SNP are celebrating 80 years as a party in this referendum year. The SNP is Scotland’s largest political party with over 20,000 members and won a majority in the 2011 Scottish Elections.
Scottish Green Party
The Scottish Green Party is autonomous from Westminster and decided to support independence with an open vote at its 2012 conference. Co-chair Patrick Harvie MSP has played a prominent role in the Yes Campaign by highlighting the environmental, democratic and social opportunities of independence.
The SSP was established in 1998 and campaigns for an independent, socialist Scottish republic. It received almost 250,000 votes in 2003 and elected 6 members of Parliament. It’s co-spokespeople Sandra Webster and Colin Fox have organised events focused in Scotland’s working class communities.
A number of high profile campaigners for independence are not part of any party or organisation. John Finnie and Jeanne Urquart are independent members of the Scottish Parliament who support independence. A number of high profile voices like Lesley Riddoch, Ian Bell and Derek Bateman all write eloquent pieces on their support.
Radical Independence has brought together 1000s of activists and campaigners in favour of an independent Scotland which priorities: i. the environment, ii. peace, iii. social services, iv. democracy, v. equality. Radical independence – which was launched by a savvy, young leadership in 2013 – has held major conferences, launches 21 local groups and held mass canvass sessions recording majority support for independence.
LFI was formed by Labour supporters who felt alienated from Labour’s leadership and policy position, and believe that an independent Scotland would do better for Labour’s priorities. Since its launch a range of Labour figures have declared their support for independence including Mary Lockhart, Tommy Shepard, Jeane Freeman, and Sir Charles Gray. Polls suggest that at least 25% of Labour supporters will vote Yes for independence
WFI is a campaign organisation to ensure that womens’ voices are heard in the referendum. By listening, engaging, and organising public events, WFI support discussion of issues that impact on women and seek to persuade more women to vote Yes.
NC is the creative campaign for an independent Scotland. Its membership of over 2,500 people includes artists and creatives who believe that independence is an opportunity to change Scotland for the better. NC also has local branches in Scotland’s major cities, a successful website, and ambitious plans to tour Scotland this Summer with a ‘Yestival’.
GenYes is the youth campaign for independence. All students in Scotland over 16 can vote in the referendum. GenYes is campaigning with a focus on schools and campuses – putting forward the advantages of independence for Scotland’s young people.
BfS is a pro-independence business network with over 2000 individual members. It has local groups across Scotland which put forward Scotland’s economic strengths and the opportunities that come with independence to other business people.
AfY is a group of researchers, academics and lecturers who support independence. Academics for Yes state that independence will benefit the higher education sector in Scotland and provide greater opportunities for Scotland’s economy and people.
FfY has members of Scotland’s agricultural and rural sector campaigning for independence. Farming members state that Scotland has unique needs and interests in rural communities which are not catered for at a Westminster level. FfY want Scotland to have a greater voice in Europe, a stronger Common Agricultural Policy payment system and international support for exports from Scotland; and believe this will be achieved with independence.
Independence isn’t about where you come from – it’s about our future. Hundreds of thousands of people move from England to Scotland and many understand that independence is about creating a better society and a better, equal relationship between Scotland and neighbouring nations.
MfC is a group of mums who believe than an independent Scotland would create a better society. They state that an independent Scotland would expand childcare, protect education services, reinvest money from Trident nuclear weapons, and tackle child poverty.
SAfY contains those who have settled in Scotland from the Asian sub-continent. Scottish Asians for Yes support independence and demonstrate how Scotland can be a successful, welcoming and multicultural society after a Yes vote.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender for independence ensure that the voice and rights of Scotland’s sexual minority groups are represented with the independence campaign. The group also advocates the inclusion of equality clauses in the written constitution of an independent country so that all within Scotland have equality irrespective of their sexual preference and identity.
Conservative supporters of independence – including former Conservative Party candidates – formed Wealthy Nation to campaign for a Yes vote. Led by historian Michael Fry, Wealthy Nation say that an independent Scotland will ensure civil liberties and create a vibrant economy which will encourage personal entrepreurship.
The Scottish Secular Society decided to support independence after a poll found over 90% support for a Yes vote within its organisation. The Society support freedom of religion alongside the freedom of a secular state which does not privilege any single view over the other. Independence is an opportunity to create a modern constitutional arrangement for Scotland that enshrines and protects these principles for all.
The Scottish CND has campaigned for nuclear disarmament for generations. The UK’s major stock of weapons is located a Faslane and Coulport by the Firth of Clyde. The Yes Campaign is resolute in removing these weapons and investing the resource into better services for the people of Scotland. For this reason the CND support independence as a huge opportunity for a more peaceful and just world.
Scottish national Sunday paper declared its support for independence this month in a stirring editorial. The piece, alongside a special illustration by artist Alasdair Gray, declared: “The prize is a better country. It is as simple as that.”
WOS was set up by journalist Stuart Campbell in 2011 to report on the independence debate. Since then the site has expanded to become one of Scotland’s most popular politics site. Campbell raised over £100,000 from readers to fund the site and campaign in the referendum.
Bella is an online magazine which covers issues of democracy, equality and justice. It attracts tens of thousands of readers, has showcased a range of writers from Scotland and across the world, and support Scottish independence.
There are also a huge host of smaller Yes groups including:
English Scots for Yes, Wales for Yes, Irish for Yes, Africans for Yes, Polish for independence, Yes Alba, Third Sector for Yes, Lawyers for Yes, Trade Unionists for Yes, Christians for independence, NHS for Yes, Cabbies for Yes, Sport for Yes, etc.
Common Weal is a non-party campaign run by the Jimmy Reid Foundation which aims to develop a vision of economic and social progress. It aims to create a society of shared wealth. Common Weal has developed new thinking in a huge range of areas, publishing reports by top academics, writers and thinkers. It has raised the ambitions for Scotland’s future, whether that future is after a Yes or No vote.
The SRC published a sensible report entitled ‘Improving the Lives of Refugees in Scotland after the Referendum’. It sets out the direction towards a more humane asylum system. Their AGM, in an informal vote, supported Scottish independence. The Yes Campaign position supports the end to ‘dawn raids’, closing Dungavel Detention Centre and giving asylum seekers the right to work.
Lateral North is a research and design collective which investigates Scotland’s new place and identity in an emerging northern region. This month Lateral North published ‘An Atlas of Productivity’ which maps out Scotland’s resources, strengths and opportunities.
Engender Scotland is a feminist organisation that campaigns for equal opportunities for women and men in life, access to resources and powers, and equality of security and freedom from harm. It publishes useful research on gender in a Scottish context.
At their independence debate support for independence rose from 65% to 79%, with only 9% remaining opposed.
So Say Scotland are a voluntery group which promotes democracy in Scotland. They held a public assembly to consider how new forms of democracy can give citizens a greater say in their community. In 2014 they launched ‘Wee Play’ so undecided voters can discuss the referendum on independence.
Scottish Global Forum is an independent think-tank which analyses Scotland’s place in the world. It was launched in 2013 to focus on issues of democracy, international relations, and security and defence. Since then SGF have provided commentary and speeches in national and international media on the international Scotland which is emerging through the referendum.
The National Council proposal states that the people of Scotland should participate in post-referendum discussions. Politicians in both London and Edinburgh will face important decisions after the vote that will define Scotland’s progress for future decades. The group proposes a ‘Citizens Assembly’ to hear the views of people in Scotland on what decisions should be made.
— Michael Gray (@GrayInGlasgow) June 27, 2014