PRO-INDEPENDENCE campaigners have vowed to get information on the referendum to Dunfermline residents, despite what they say have been attempts to silence them for two consecutive weeks.
After having a gala stall cancelled last week, attempts were made this weekend to prevent Yes Scotland leaflets being distributed outside the town's Bruce Festival - an event that commemorates Robert the Bruce, with event staff being accused of being aggressive towards one pregnant campaigner.

Event security staff threatened to contact police when the local activists refused to bow to demands they take down a street stall outside Pittencrieff Park on Saturday morning.  The campaigners insisted they were doing nothing wrong by offering leaflets to interested passers-by.

But the situation was defused when Dunfermline Central councillor Neale Hanvey stepped in to speak to event organisers 'Dunfermline Delivers', who indicated that if Better Together were also represented it would be a different story.  After negotiations Yes Scotland was eventually allowed to remain at the Glen Gates.

A small group of activists met outside the Glen Gates on Sunday morning to hand out leaflets and balloons while Councillor Hanvey made representation to 'Dunfermline Delivers' before setting up the stall, but event staff again reacted angrily.

Local Yes Scotland co-ordinator, Fay Sinclair said: "We were approached by a man waving a walkie talkie, who I’ve since been told was the artistic director of the Bruce Festival, telling us to leave.  We argued that we were entitled to hand out leaflets in a public space and were outside of the park gates but he got very angry and aggressive and was using quite abusive language.

"When it was pointed out that Bruce himself fought for Scottish independence he shouted, 'no, Bruce just fought for money'. I was gobsmacked someone involved in the Bruce Festival would yell something like that in the face of a heavily pregnant woman while people were passing to go into the event. There was a family from New Zealand looking on open-mouthed. That’s surely not the image such an event would want to promote."

Despite the hostility encountered from event staff, Mrs Sinclair said they had a warm reception from members of the public.

She added: "Literally thousands of leaflets, balloons, flags and badges were handed out.

"People want access to the facts to make an informed decision about their country's future and while more of the scare stories peddled by the No campaign crumble by the day the anti-independence crowd are clearly running from the debate, working behind the scenes to deprive people of access to information rather than engage and present their case. It only makes activists like myself more determined to make sure people do have the information they need to vote Yes next year."

The group also had a stall at South Dunfermline Gala last week cancelled with less than 24-hours’ notice, claiming political pressure had been put on organisers.  Mrs Sinclair said she was told on the phone that they were being kept out because anti-independence campaigners would not have a stall, but has since received a letter from the committee stating that the decision was because the gala is primarily for children.

The episode follows claims that a lack of volunteers is hampering rival campaign group Better Together and that some Yes Scotland stalls are being refused permission because they are not 'balanced' by their pro-Union counterparts.


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# Massan_Gow 2013-08-28 06:54
It seems to me this is just another example of Better Together supporters trying to close down debate.

If Better Together can't get a presence then no-one can seems to be the mantra. This is not how free speech in a democracy should work.

If Better Together don't attend for whatever reason (lack of support?) then tough; it shouldn't stop other people sharing their views.

Oh, and I see the next Better Together 'public' meeting in Glasgow is by invite only. Real advocates for debate and free speech eh?
# colin8652 2013-08-28 07:39
I'm sure many of us would be willing to travel to Dunfermline to help out with campaigning if the locals continue to have problems with Labour in that area.
# IXL 2013-08-28 07:40
All YES campaigners should be absolutely resolute in the face of intimidation and bullying like this. This is classic Labour and Tory tactics and like all bullies they back down and retreat when you face up to them.
Refuse to retreat
Refuse to back down
Record any such incidents on mobile video then post online
Identify these people for future reference and publish their names online if possible

Make them think again

Aba gu Brath
# Tuathair 2013-08-28 08:13
There is a similar theme emerging in the local press. Wyvex Media (the Oban Times group) has recently intimated that it will publish no material from either Yes or No campaign 'in the interests of balance'. On enquiry whether this would apply to commercial advertising (e.g. a paid for notice of a meeting or event) the Arran Banner (a Wyven title) has advised that these would have to be 'approved by head office'.
# Breeks 2013-08-28 08:34
YES groups running into these difficulties should draw lots and the loser obliged to join Better Together and become a 'utility stooge' and token Better Together presence at public events.
It's a dirty job, (grim, thankless, & futile too) but somebody has to do it since Better Together don't have the manpower to do it themselves.

I can just see the headlines "Better Together is just an SNP front!"
# call me dave 2013-08-28 16:53


It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done.
etc etc and a well desreved pint at the end.
# fitheach 2013-08-28 09:35

I live in an area served by a Wyvex Media publication and would be interested in seeing some more information on this statement. Do you have a link to something online?

If you can't post something here on NNS you can contact me via email at
# bringiton 2013-08-28 10:37
It has been clear for some time that since the No campaign have No case for the status quo being in Scotland's interest,they are trying to shutdown the debate.
There are no neutrals in this issue.
Officials and event organisers who refuse to allow information to be disseminated are acting as part of the
No campaign.
The pretence of neutrality and balance is just that.
# Leader of the Pack 2013-08-28 11:00
The Negative campaign clearly don't have the necessary support in Scotland to compete with the extensive and enthusiastic Yes campaign support so are deliberately trying to close down all avenues of Yes campaigning on the ground in Scotland. This is not democratic this is despotic. This is the kind of political behaviour you see in banana Republics & military states. But then Westminster has never been about democracy in its entire historic existence.
# proudscot 2013-08-28 12:19
So we can now re-phrase Gandhi's famous words by adding the Unionist tactic of closing down debate - "First they ignore you; then they mock you; then they fight you by denying you publicity or debate; and then you win!"
# creigs1707repeal 2013-08-28 16:53
It's rather odd that NO are supposedly ahead in the polls and yet cannot mount an effective grassroots campaign. I rather suspect they do not actually want a grassroots campaign because then people will get to know the truth that a NO vote means more of the same from Westminster (with worse to come) whilst a YES vote offers of manner of positive prospects. It is not in the NO camp's interest for such a comparison to be made and so they ensure that such a comparison can't be made with these tactics. It rmeinds me of the scene in Braveheart where Edward I orders his commander to loose his archers into the melee on the battlefield. "But won't we hit our own troops, you majesty?" The English king replies, "Yes - but we'll hit there's as well." Scorched earth tactics - pure and simple.

YES Scotland.
# xyz 2013-08-28 19:31
*unionists are a total disgrace. They can't win the argument so they shut it down by having well placed reactionaries. (afraid of change) Why wouldn't they be afraid these creeps are currently running their tiny little empires.

*selfish Westminster lackeys - that kind of unionist
# jdman 2013-08-28 20:27
I remember my wife approaching them (Dunfermline gala committee) to have a tombola stall and the response was the gala was primarily for children, that was about ten years ago , the stall was to support out local brass band and we could not get access to a large crowd of people in the glen to allow us to earn money to take us to the national brass band championships in Harrowgate because of this, in spite of which , there were several tombola stalls in the park that day, our band was the lead in the procession to the glen but not apparently welcome to earn anything from the days efforts.
# James 2013-08-29 08:14
Have I read this aright? A festival is being held to commemorate King Robert I (Robert the Bruce) and a campaign in favour of independence for Scotland is refused entry.

Now, we all know that Bruce was dead against an independent Scotland, despite that unfortunate business at Bannockburn, and the organisers will surely have taken his recorded wishes into account in making their decision.

Is there a psychiatrist in the house?

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