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Posted on 18 September 2014 at 15:50 GMT

Scotland Poll: Electric mood among YES supporters

Report from Glasgow, 17 September

A grassroots "YES info" rally took place all afternoon and into the night on Wednesday mobilising tens of thousands of people to Glasgow's George Square.

From 3pm onwards the square was full, thousands also passed through as the afternoon went on into the evening.

A whole cross section of society was present. The mood was excited, energised. People crowded to campaign stalls for politics.

A hive of discussion went up everywhere, with huge cheers going up when a speaker made a pertinent point.

Socialist Party Scotland

Socialist Party Scotland members were present in the square throughout. We stood out with our red material and banners calling for "YES and Fight for Socialism".

Our stall was inundated throughout the day. Again we sold out of copies of the socialist, by the middle of the evening hundreds had signed up for more information on SPS, thousands of our leaflets were distributed, with 350 raised.

Our stall speakers called for a mass mobilisation to the polls on Thursday to vote yes, we explained that the presence of thousands of workers and young people on the streets, taking the campaign for YES into their own hands represented a democratic uprising that had sparked interest amongst workers and youth across the world.

We called for this mobilisation to be the beginning of building a mass movement in the workplaces and communities to fight for an end to all austerity, not a penny more of cuts to be implemented in Scotland, 10 an hour minimum wage now and an end to zero hour contracts.

We explained the need for a socialist transformation of society. People stopped and applauded and entered discussion when we highlighted the brutality of this profit driven capitalist system, based on inequality.

We call for a socialist alternative, the public ownership of the banks, oil, gas and major parts of the economy, a society democratically planned to meet the needs of the majority.

Socialist alternative

We got major interest when calling for a new political voice for the working class and young people, a new mass party.

The rally speakers were varied, often just ordinary people. Again people raged against the BBC bias and the political establishment and urged a mass YES vote but also importantly what their vision of an independent Scotland would look like - an end to austerity - was a common theme.

Brian Smith, Socialist Party Scotland member and branch secretary of Glasgow City Unison addressed the square at one of the busiest points.

Brian explained this was an opportunity to take control back for ordinary working people, the economic powers of independence should be used to take socialist measures.

He got huge cheers throughout the square when he pointed out the sheer wealth inequality in Britain and calling for a new political party of working people.

The square was busiest when Tommy Sheridan addressed the rally. Tommy pointed out the nature of "millionaires and billionaires united" project fear and the policies they were trying to defend of inequality, poverty and war.

He got a thunderous response when he called for a society run for the needs of the millions not the millionaires.

As darkness fell a surge of young people came into the square, they created a party atmosphere but also further political energy chanting "we want to be free".

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 18 September 2014 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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