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News, November 2019
Scottish Protesters Call for Independence from Britain, Nicola Sturgeon Says it's within a Touching Distance
November 4, 2019
Scottish protesters call for independence from Britain
DW, November 2, 2019
Thousands of people have descended on central Glasgow to demand Scotland's independence from Britain. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the crowd it was "time for Scotland to choose our own future."
Protesters waving Scottish flags took to the streets of Glasgow, Scotland's most populous city, on Saturday to call for a fresh independence vote in 2020.
Organizers said around 20,000 people turned out for the march in George Square. Also present was First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the head of Scotland's devolved government, who told the crowd: "It is time for Scotland to choose our own future. It is time for Scotland to be an independent country."
"An independent Scotland is closer than it has ever been," she added. It was the first time Sturgeon had taken part in a pro-independence rally since 2014.
The Scottish leader has said she wants to hold a second referendum on Scotland's independence from the UK in 2020 and has pledged to take this request to the British government by the end of December.
A legally binding referendum on the issue can go ahead only with permission from London.
Thousands of people filled Glasgow's George Square waving a variety of flags
Both the ruling British Conservatives and the Labour opposition do not support holding another independence vote. The Scottish Conservative Party, meanwhile, has accused Sturgeon of "not listening to the electorate."
In Scotland's first referendum in 2014, 55% of voters opposed splitting from the UK. That, however, was before a 2016 UK referendum in which voters backed Britain's withdrawal from the European Union — something a clear majority of Scots rejected.
Sturgeon said a British general election scheduled for December 12 represented a "crossroads moment" for Scotland. She urged voters to support her Scottish National Party (SNP) in order to strengthen the push for independence.
"This election is Scotland's chance to escape Brexit and to put our future in our own hands," she said.
Nicola Sturgeon: Independence within 'touching distance'
BBC, 2 November 2019
Nicola Sturgeon has claimed independence is "within touching distance" ahead of a speech to supporters at a major rally in Glasgow.
She will ask for powers to hold another a referendum on Scotland's future in the UK shortly after next month's general election.
However Jeremy Corbyn said a new Scottish independence poll was not "desirable or necessary".
The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats also oppose a further vote.
Ms Sturgeon is one of a number of SNP politicians and independence campaigners speaking at the #indyref2020 rally in George Square.
It will be the first time she has spoken at an independence rally since 2014.
The event prompted a counter demonstration by dozens of unionist supporters who waved flags and blew whistles as supporters of Scottish independence gathered.
Speaking ahead of the event organised by The National newspaper, the SNP leader focused on the UK-wide election on 12 December.
"This election really is the most important one Scotland has faced in modern times," she said.
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"So much is on the line - people are completely fed up with the mess at Westminster.
"But George Square will be packed as people from all backgrounds join together to demand a better future for Scotland."
Ms Sturgeon added that independence "really is within touching distance".
She had faced criticism by some activists for not attending events such as the All Under One Banner march in Edinburgh last month.
However, the first minister did tweet ahead of that march to say she was not able to attend, but would be there "in spirit".
Image copyright Derrick Farnell Image caption Pro-independence marchers in Edinburgh last month walked from Holyrood Park to a rally in The Meadows
On Friday the first minister confirmed that she would send a letter "before Christmas" to whoever is in 10 Downing Street, requesting the Scottish Parliament is granted powers to hold another independence referendum.
She has made clear that she wants to hold a poll on the issue next year.
Asked whether she believed Labour would grant the Section 30 order, Ms Sturgeon answered: "Yes".
"If people in Scotland demonstrate the desire - as I believe they will in this election - for an independence referendum, then I don't believe Westminster opposition to the principle or to the timetable to that will prove sustainable," she said.
In response, Jeremy Corbyn said only a Labour government would be able to boost Scotland's economy and see "the levels of poverty in Scotland, particularly in the big cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, being reduced".
He added: "Scottish independence would mean a massive gap between what Scotland raises in taxation and what the Scottish people need at the present time.
"I think the much better option is a Labour government for the whole of the UK."
The Tories criticised Nicola Sturgeon for prioritising indyref2 "above all else".
Scottish Conservative MSP for Glasgow, Annie Wells, said: "While Nicola Sturgeon is banging on about indyref2, I'm out talking to people about the state of their local schools, the drug deaths crisis and violent crime taking over our streets, and the problems at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
"Instead of tackling the day-to-day things that Glaswegians care about, Nicola Sturgeon is headlining a nationalist rally.
"So this election is about stopping Nicola Sturgeon from dividing our communities all over again, and only a vote for the Scottish Conservatives will do that.
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