EDINBURGH, United Kingdom – Thousands of campaigners against Scottish independence took to the streets today to fight against the break-up of the United Kingdom. The official ‘Better Together’ campaign group held one thousand street stalls across the country, whilst the Orange Order – a protestant traditionalist organisation – brought over a hundred marching bands to Scotland’s capital.
The head of Better Together, the anti-Independence campaign, Alistair Darling claimed last weekend’s disastrous opinion polls had “galvanised” unionists to come out in force. In a press conference at the Scotsman Hotel he told journalists the closeness of the result had “brought people out who had previously stayed at home”.
Although Mr Darling told journalists the Orange Order demonstration was “nothing to do with us” it did attract a huge crowd. There were 12,000 campaigners on the march itself, including over a hundred bands from right across the United Kingdom.
They were cheered on by tens of thousands of Scottish no voters, worried their identities would be eroded by an independent hard-left Scottish government. Supporters told Breitbart London that the rally was vital to remind Scotland of the value of the United Kingdom.
One Scottish member of the parade said: “This is a public display of how proud we are to be British.
“There are so many leftists trying to destroy our three hundred year old union, and they have the backing of the mainstream media, but we are proud of our history. We are British first and Scottish second.”
The march also served to highlight concerns that the referendum has stirred up age old, but recently forgotten religious tensions. First Minister Alex Salmond is known to be an admirer of Irish nationalism, which is linked to the religious dispute between Catholics and Protestants.
Although in modern Britain both Christian denominations live together, it was once seen as a bastion of Protestantism. As a result of the Northern Ireland peace process those divisions had largely disappeared, but there are now widespread claims the referendum has reopened old wounds.
Willy, from Perthside, was worried about how the referendum had divided people. He told Breitbart London: “What happened in Northern Ireland, with all the troubles is now happening here. Our traditions were here long before Alex Salmond and we’ll be here after he’s gone.”
He was not the only person concerned about racial tensions erupting but Alan McMasters, from Ayreshire said today’s protest was much more about unity not division. “This is about our opposition to independence” he said “the people you see in Edinburgh today are proud to be both British and Scottish.”
But today’s campaigning was good natured. Adam Gale from Guildford had come especially to support no campaigners. He said: “The day has been superb, great fun. The marching bands are really impressive and I am delighted to come out and support them.
“It’s vital that we don’t lose all these traditions by ripping the United Kingdom in half.”