IT is probably true to say that in the couple of years following the disappointing General Election of 2017, All Under One Banner (AUOB) marches kept the flame of hope alive for the independence movement.

That coupled with the activities of the Scottish Independence Foundation (SIF) in raising and distributing money for the independence movement led to renewed enthusiasm for the cause and probably helped with electoral recovery in 2019.

Then Covid happened and put a stop to active campaigning, followed by the unfavourable yet wholly predictable verdict from the arguably illegal UK Supreme Court, which basically removed the prospect of a referendum on Scottish independence for the forseeable future.

This already difficult situation for the indy movement has been compounded by Nicola Sturgeon’s precipitate resignation, chaotic leadership election and the apparent pantomime of a police investigation.

READ MORE: What was it like at Glasgow's Scottish independence rally?

Add a Ruritania-style coronation, and Yessers were just about in despair.

Along came AUOB Glasgow, on a carefully chosen date, but unfortunately in fairly atrocious weather, and the scene was set to raise the spirits of the movement?

SIF has been supporting AUOB for the last few years (we started with Edinburgh 2019).

Rallies cost money: good staging, PA systems and toilets are essential and cost money, and SIF recognises the importance of these events, not least for morale reasons, but also for demonstrating the strength and resilience of the movement.

It is worth pointing out that SIF, since its inception in 2018, has provided funding of over £300,000 to countless groups and events throughout Scotland.

Recipients have included (in no particular order) the Nation films by Lesley Riddoch, Believe in Scotland, Common Weal, Voices for Scotland, Scotland and Independence booklet, Scotonomics conference, Saor Alba Pipes and Drums, Yes groups from Caithness to Galloway and much else.

Back to Glasgow Green at 10am

The rain pouring down, SIF had a gazebo provided by AUOB, a SIF banner, some leaflets, booklets and a few collection buckets.

After a brief set up, I set off by foot and subway to Kelvingrove to be greeted by the sight of thousands of cheerful Yessers of all ages, saltires and banners aloft fronted by Saor Alba Pipes and Drums. Good to see some prominent politicians; politicians have been few in number at previous marches post Covid.

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Folk get all steamed up about numbers, was it 5,000 or 50,000?

Unionists said it was a few hundreds, but at least 10 folk wide, it took over 40 minutes to enter the Green at the end, and when one looked along George Street and up the hill towards Blythswood Square there was a continuous line of blue. Only hundreds; no way.

Most gratifying of all was the reception from the pavements and surrounding tenement windows- total enthusiasm and loud cheers. It was apparent there was still plenty support for the cause.

In Glasgow Green, the weather, which had behaved during the march, broke, and a deluge led to many but not all folk running for shelter.

READ MORE: Photos show Scottish independence AUOB march through Glasgow

The speeches, interspersed with music, went on despite the weather, and many were inspiring and not too many droned on. I’m not going to single out speakers.

I didn’t hear most, as I was at our stall, talking to folk and telling them what SIF does.

The National:

It was surprising how many had not heard of us. Leaflets were taken, which told folk how to donate and to apply for funds. Also, while most had come across my wee book, Scotland and independence, some had not and took copies away.

Donations into the buckets were made, a total of £374 while online donations linked with our stall took the total to around £500 (I say around £500 as some direct debits are still appearing online.)

AUOB will be marching again in Stirling on June 24

Again a large turnout would be great, and surely the weather will be better by then.

SIF will be there, because raising money and circulating it around the movement is crucial to our success. Donations to SIF do not just go to AUOB marches; a small percentage goes to them, but most go to other pro-indy groups and events as well as local Yes groups across the land.

Please support future AUOB events and also help SIF to help the movement as a whole.

Ian Grant is the treasurer of SIF, as well as a former consultant intensive care clinician and anaesthetist.