LAST week, thousands of pro-independence supporters took to the streets of Glasgow and proved that the movement is far from over.

We were reporting live from the scene, where we heard from grassroots activists from across the movement, and speeches from the likes of First Minister Humza Yousaf and Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer.

Yet there was one story that stuck with us in particular.

The National: Emma Louis (right) met some of the organisers behind the YES stones projectEmma Louis (right) met some of the organisers behind the YES stones project (Image: Laura Pollock)

Meet Emma Louis (right), a 25-year-old from the north-east of France. She lives about an hour away from Metz, near the border of Belgium and Luxembourg, and she ended up at the Believe in Scotland rally because of a stone.

A Yes stone, to be more clear.

The Yes Stones project is made up of almost 10,000 members across Scotland, who spread awareness about Scottish independence in a non-party-political way by painting and decorating stones, and placing them up and down the country for people to find.

READ MORE: In pictures - Yes supporters gather in Glasgow for major independence march and rally

Louis drove from France to Scotland in a campervan. So far, she’s been to Dumfries and Galloway, Fort William (where she climbed Ben Nevis), along the NC500 to Inverness, then Stirling, and eventually to Glasgow.

“My trip has been amazing, people are just so nice, I feel so safe here it’s amazing,” Louis told us.

Louis found a Yes stone as she crossed the border from England into Scotland at Carters Bar, as she was taking pictures of the Scottish flag.

The National: The YES stones stall at the rally also featured a display of slates which read: 'Yes! Yes! Yes! Independence for Scotland'The YES stones stall at the rally also featured a display of slates which read: 'Yes! Yes! Yes! Independence for Scotland' (Image: Lucy Jackson)

After finding the stone, Louis joined the Yes Stones Facebook group and reached out to members.

“I put myself there saying that I found the stone, and people were really happy about it,” she said.

“So when I heard about the march and I saw that I was actually here [in Glasgow] today, I just figured that I would come.

READ MORE: Convention on self-determination in Scotland announced on St Andrew's Day

“People were really happy to meet me.”

Thanks to the kindness of the Yes Stones community, Louis was able to meet the person who painted the stone that she picked up.

Derek Lammie, a piper in Saor Alba Pipes and Drums, also just so happened to be in Glasgow on Saturday, as he formed part of the band which led the march into George Square.

The two met and took this picture to commemorate the special occasion.

The National:

One day, Louis would like to live in Scotland.

“Initially, I wanted to study here. In France I was studying in the food industry, my school had a partnership with a university in Scotland,” she said.

“The year that I was able to go there with Erasmus, we lost that because of Brexit, so I couldn’t come.

READ MORE: Inside the room as Humza Yousaf sacked the Scottish Greens from government

“I figured that it’s okay, I will come and work here one day, but as things are right now with Brexit, I just can’t.”


I hope you can get independence soon


If Louis came to study in Scotland, it would cost her £20,000 in tuition for one year - money no 25-year-old just has to hand.

Currently, she can’t work in Scotland either.

“Because of Brexit, I can’t get a working visa”, Louis said. “I’ve come here on holiday so that I can still enjoy the country.

“I do hope you can get independence soon so that you can come back into the EU and I can come back and work.”

This is what groups like the Yes Stones are all about - connecting people from all over Scotland and the rest of the world to the independence movement.

Louis is one of thousands of Europeans whose futures have been unfairly impacted by Brexit; a Brexit that was dictated and voted for by Westminster, and which Scotland voted against.

To see someone like Louis brought to an independence rally because of a Yes stone was really special. It showed us the power of the movement, and that the future of Scottish independence is bright.