National Yes Registry launches drive to re-establish grassroots indy movement


Plans to hold a national launch conference on September 18 2016 revealed

CAMPAIGNERS are set to make a bid to re-establish the grassroots Yes campaign by re-connecting continuing local pro-independence groups.

Twenty local groups have already signed up to a common declaration to support a National Yes Registry of pro-independence forces.

This initial ‘vanguard’ of local groups, which includes Yes groups in Edinburgh, Inverness, Ayrshire, Moray, Fife, East Kilbride and Orkney, has already held a delegate conference in Largs in December and hopes to reach out to many more groups in coming months in the run-up to the national launch of the new nationwide grassroots organisation on 18 September.

Jason Baird, one of the organisers of the initiative, told CommonSpace: “What we are trying to do is link all the groups that still exist, that are still active, together so that activists can discuss with each other matters of importance.

“There are still activists engaging in initiatives all across the country who are not communicating and co-ordinating with each other.

“We want to connect, for the first time, activists who can then share their experiences. It is activists who fought the campaign on the ground last time and we know what worked and what didn’t, what went wrong and what went right.”

The initiative aims to reconstruct the network of self-organised local groups that made up the Yes movement during the most intensive phase of the independence referendum campaign between 2012-2014.

Organisers argue that the local campaigns were poorly served by Yes central office during the referendum and ought to have a major collective stake in a possible future campaign for Scottish independence.

Baird stressed that only outline plans had so far been made and that the membership of autonomous and grassroots groups would have ownership over what would emerge in the coming months.

He said: “We are not expecting to run this. What we are looking for is a way for the grassroots to have a voice and have our opinions heard concerning how the next referendum should be fought, when and what the priorities should be.”

The initiative, which began with campaigners touring Scotland throughout November 2015 meeting local Yes groups, is one of several aimed at relaunching the campaign for Scottish independence.

In February CommonSpace reported that several groups and figures from the Yes movement were in talks to establish a new permanent campaign for independence.

At its 2016 pre-election conference, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon announced that the party would launch it’s own “listening” campaign later in the year.

You can read the full Declaration of Support for the National Yes Registry and a list of affiliated groups below, and if you’d like to get involved or find out more, email

Declaration of Support

Following our first National Yes Registry conference of grass-root, pro-independence autonomous groups held in Largs on the 5th of December 2015, we the undersigned groups declare our intention to collectively provide the grass-root authority and vanguard leadership necessary to instigate the creation of an open, non-party political, mutually supportive campaigning network around which all willing pro-independence grass-root organisations can coalesce to democratically maximise our social leverage for change and thereby systematically advance the cause for Scottish Independence.

This has been decided.

We intend to deliver on this decision through the creation of a collectively owned and run National Yes Registry ‘Forum mechanism’, as outlined in the NYR film and further developed through feedback gained during the ‘face to face tour of the groups’, undertaken in the five weeks prior to conference. This ‘Forum mechanism’ will continuously adapt and develop to practically address the social and campaigning needs of all the participating groups, as they grow over time.

We, the autonomous groups, fully understand that the ‘Forum mechanism’ which we are sanctioning the creation of, is only a tool. We are creating it in order to help anchor and actively develop, once again, the inspirational campaigning culture of pro-active self-help and powerful social networking that made the Scottish grass-root independence movement a joy to belong to and such a formidable non-party political force to be reckoned with.

It is this, our culture of mutual support, which will ensure the success of our proposed ‘forum mechanism’: A tool of the groups with which to build an effective grass-root social, cultural and campaigning network, nationwide. This is key to understanding the importance of our timetable to ‘launch’ and the ‘stages of group readiness’ which we the undersigned groups commit to delivering upon internally, in preparation to the ‘forum mechanisms’ launch nationally.

We, the undersigned, collectively urge all other likeminded groups and individuals with a belief in the need for a powerful non-party political grass-root voice in the campaigning direction and timing of Scotland’s next strides toward full Independence, to join us in creating this collectively owned, self-organised re-formation and continuation of Yes’s urgent grass-root driven demand for a return to full Scottish Independence.

End of declaration.


Yes Annandale   

Aye2Aye Hub, Fort William

Yes Clydesdale

Yes Dunfermline & West Fife

Yes East Kilbride

Yes Edinburgh North & Leith

Yes Edinburgh West

Yes Forres Area 


Yes Jedburgh

Yes Kelty

Lochaber Women for Indy

Yes Marchmont & Morningside

Common Weal Moray

Yes North East Fife

Yes Orkney

Yes Edinburgh Pentlands

Yes Rutherglen 

Yes Alliance Skye  

Yes Troon  

Picture courtesy of Cams

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