By a Newsnet reporter
He's decided to get on his bike in an attempt to help the wider Yes campaign. 

Postman Mark Coburn is already seven days into a gruelling 1421 mile journey from Italy's capital all the way to Scotland, as he bids to raise funds for local Yes groups.
Newsnet Scotland's own film crew interviewed Mark before he set off on his trip to ask what he hoped to achieve and how he prepared.

In the interview below, avid cyclist Mark explains both his motivation and his prepararion for a journey that will take him from Rome, north through Italy before crossing the border over the Alps into France.  A hop across the channel to England and then the final leg that will see him arrive in Glasgow on May 25th.

Forty year old Mark said: "I'll be fulfilling two ambitions, ever since I was a boy I’ve always wanted to do a long distance cycle, and, I've always been a Yes voter, so the two go hand in hand.

"Since May 2011 I had been thinking about doing something unique for the yes cause, and, it was while I was on holiday in Florence in 2012 that I came up with the 'Rome to Home' project."

Sponsored by pro-Yes group Business for Scotland, Mark hopes to raise funds for local Yes groups.

"The grassroots campaign is where we're going to win this" he says, emphasising the organic nature of the pro-independence campaign.

Describing the Yes Scotland campaign as a "working class left-wing movement", quite distinct from other independence campaigns on the continent, Mark explains how people who were once reluctant to discuss independence are now beginning to engage and accept the idea and are talking about it.

They are no longer afraid he says, "It's in the atmosphere, it's in the media,"

Explaining the erosion of fear and a new willingness to seek information, Mark adds: "People are now attaching themselves more to social media than to mainstream media ... they are starting to pick up information they wouldn't have done otherwise."

He adds: "More and more people are coming out who are not interested in party politics, who are not part of a line."  The Yes campaign, he says, is "naturally expanding".

Mark will not be on his own for the entirety of his trip, telling the interviewer how he will be meeting up with friends in Rome, Florence, Milan, Turin, Lyon, France and London en-route.

Mark plans to arrive in Glasgow on the afternoon of May 25th and he is urging people to gather in George Square for his arrival where he hopes there will be a "massive party".



# africraig 2014-05-04 16:49
This is the energy and enthusiasm that an independent Scotland needs! Well done, Mark and all the best!
# Clydebuilt 2014-05-04 17:18
Where does Mark get his YES cycling gear?

C'mon Mark
# handyscot 2014-05-04 18:02
This is brilliant! Safe journeys, Mark. Scotland is waiting for wheels to turn.
# africraig 2014-05-04 20:09
Handyscot "waiting for wheels to turn" : are you quoting a Capercaillie song?
# red kite 2014-05-04 21:48
Are there any locals, diplomats, or whatever along the way that can use Mark's efforts to publicise the YES campaign in Europe ?
# Marga B 2014-05-04 22:26
Many best wishes to Mark.

Just a small gripe - the Scottish independence movement seems to be aiming beyond party politics and class, so calling it working class and left-wing might be a wee bit unhelpful.
# handyscot 2014-05-04 22:38
Well spotted, africraig! Maybe Mark should have Capercaillie playing as he pedals.

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