ONE of the independence movement's original organisations has called an urgent meeting to discuss the establishment of a new national body “to represent the movement, rather than the politicians”.

The Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) sent a notification to members on Thursday announcing a special annual general meeting (AGM) to take place on March 23.

The notification said: “This is to discuss uniting the independence movement and where SIC can move towards.”

It is understood this follows two meetings of the Independence Forum at which 30 representatives from pro-independence groups and organisations across Scotland attended.

After a “wide-ranging discussion” on January 12, it was agreed there was a need for “a new or revamped national organisation of independence supporters”.

On February 16, the forum agreed to proceed with the formation of a new national body.

Groups also agreed the initial priorities of organisational arrangements, as well the establishment of steering groups.

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The Independence Forum, set up in August 2021, comprises of multiple groups and recent meetings have been attended by Common Weal, All Under One Banner, Yes for EU, NHS for Yes, Christians for Yes, Pensioners for Indy and multiple local Yes groups. Time for Scotland is set to get involved.

However, the SNP leadership race has meant plans are being sped up to establish the national body, with existing structures of groups suggested to be adapted for practical and legal reasons.

Organisers want to establish a body before a new SNP leader is elected as they believe the focus should be on the movement, not politicians. 

One SIC member said: “The movement needs to have an ongoing body which would convene big assemblies at regular intervals and feasibly build a prospectus for an independent Scotland – it would be representative of the movement, rather than the politicians.

"I think the key thing is that we’ve got a very strong window of opportunity here, to be able to say to the new leader that we’re the thing. So there’s a balance here but whatever we’ve got to do, we’ve got to do it quickly.”

The idea came in the wake of the UK Supreme Court judgement as a number of conventions, congresses, and assemblies were established to further the cause of independence.

It was recognised by the Independence Forum that for an event or a convention to succeed, there had to be a single non-party political body bringing together as many pro-independence groups as possible.

The forum also considered that the convention should not be a one-off event; it should be established and then work over a period at least until independence is achieved.

It is also understood that the body will eventually strive to include as many aspects of society such as religious, educational, and health bodies as well trade unions, charities, and businesses.

More information is to follow from a third Independence Forum meeting, and the SIC special AGM.