Category Archives: Videos / Audio

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Execution & Beheading on Glasgow Green

Mary McCabe, of Greater Glasgow P4Indy, writes:

On 30th August 200 years ago James ‘Purlie’ Wilson was hanged and beheaded on Glasgow Green for High Treason. A rebellious crowd of 20,000, held back by soldiers, watched him die. He gave an impassioned speech on the gallows. Did the Press report on what he said? No.

By Elliott Simpson, CC BY-SA 2.0, WikiCommons

“Scotland Free or a Desart”

Wilson was a 63-year-old weaver. He had long been involved in organisations seeking such political reform as votes for all men and the independence of Scotland. 

He had taken part in non-violent demonstrations and carried a banner proclaiming “Scotland Free or a Desart” (sic). And his home in Strathaven was a rendezvous point for those who wished to debate topical issues such as the abolition of slavery.

In the April of 1820, Government undercover agents persuaded Wilson to lead twenty-five men towards Cathkin to join in an uprising. However long before they arrived they thought the better of it and returned home without striking a blow. But it was already too late. They had now been identified. Soldiers burst into their homes and arrested them. 

The Radical Wars involved thousands of people across Central Scotland. By the end eighty-eight men were charged with High Treason. Yet the events of those years are shrouded in secrecy to this day.

Bi-Centary Commemoration

Tomorrow (Sunday 30th August) from about 2.45 there will be a Commemoration on Glasgow Green beside the Arch near the High Court – attended physically, with social distancing – to mark the bicentenary of Wilson’s execution at that exact time and place, 200 years ago.

Postscript by Marlene Halliday:

I’m sure there are honourable exceptions, but for many of us who went to school in Scotland in the 50s and 60s, the 1820 Rebellion was likely never mentioned in any history class. I am currently reading an account of the Rebellion by Murray Armstrong entitled ” The Fight for Scottish Democracy: Rebellion & Reform in 1820“.

You can listen to Murray talking on the subject here:

And find out even more in these videos:

The Declaration – the letter of Liberty

Yesterday, had things been otherwise, I would have been up in Arbroath celebrating the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. I’m sure that many of you would have been there too. And I’m sure that at some point we will be there enjoying a belated gathering.

In the meantime we have Lesley Riddoch & Charlie Stuart to thank for this film about the Declaration. And also to thank Patrick Doyle for the original score.

You can find out more about the making of the film in Lesley’s own blog post.

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YES #IndyRef2020 – Glasgow Rally

On Saturday 20,000 people (according to the organisers) or 10,000 people (according to the police) squeezed themselves into Glasgow’s George Square to listen to an array of speakers on the theme of Scottish Independence.

As is usual it was all videoed by the IndependenceLiveStreaming team and if you missed it, or couldn’t hear it, you can listen again now.

It was quite a line-up:

To help you find each of the speakers here are the timings in the video:

  • @ 18mins: Mhairi Black MP
  • @ 34mins: Maggie Chapman, Convenor of Scottish Independence Convention
  • @ 44mins: Valentina Servera Clavell from Catalonia
  • @ 1h 6mins: Patrick Harvie MSP, Scottish Greens
  • @ 1h 16mins: Paul Kavanagh of Wee Ginger Dug
  • @ 1h 26mins: Suzanne McLaughlin, Women for Independence
  • @ 1h 34mins: Janey Godley, Isa MacNamee and a’ the Sandras
  • @ 1h 42mins: Mike Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business & Constitutional Relations
  • @ 1h 51mins: Humza Yusaf MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice,
  • @ 2h Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland

And look – Glasgow Pensioners for Indy were there too!

Thoughts about a Scottish Constitution

Glasgow P4Indy group invited John Drummond to their August meeting today to talk about a Scottish Constitution. John, along with Canon Kenyon Wright, was one of the founders of the Constitutional Commission, back in 2005. And on the Commission’s website you find these three principles underpinning how they have tried to progress the idea of a written constitution for Scotland:

  • The work of the Constitutional Commission starts from three axioms. Firstly, that legitimate sovereignty in Scotland resides in the “whole community of the realm”, and not in the Queen-in-Parliament at Westminster.
  • Secondly, that a written and entrenched Constitution, endorsed by the whole community, guaranteeing the rights of citizens, and delimiting the powers, duties and responsibilities of the institutions of State, is necessary in order to establish the right relationship between the State and the people in a liberal democracy. 
  • Thirdly, that liberal democracy cannot exist merely in procedural terms, but must be sustained by civic, humane and democratic values.
  • you can find out more here: Constitutional Commission John is currently giving this talk to Indy supporting groups all over Scotland so if you’re interested, contact him via this website.

The video below is John giving the talk a few months back. It’s approximately what he said in Glasgow today. But because since this version from March 2019, the UK is in the grip of a constitutional crisis, we heard a lot more about the current attempts by Boris Johnson to prorogue Parliament and what that could presage for the Scottish independence movement.

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Reframing Resources from June Maxwell

Some months back we invited Bill Mills to speak to us about Reframing at the Glasgow P4Indy group. He gave us a good overview of what is involved in Reframing and you can find some of that here. The month after that we tried our own hand at reframing in a couple of short workshops. You can see what we came up with here.…. and one thing we found out is that reframing is quite hard to do!

Since it is hard to do – for us beginners, anyway – I was very pleased to hear from June Maxweel the other day that she has a set of short podcasts called Subtle Signposts which back up what we learnt from Bill, expand on some of his topics, and develop others. I heard June speak at the National Yes Registry Day in Stirling last autumn and liked her approach. In these podcasts she focuses on one aspect of Reframing at a time. I’m currently half way through them and think they will be very useful.