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The Scheme Uprising by Leanne Tervit

Cast your mind back to a decade ago. A date had been set where we would have the opportunity to change our future. Our lives.

Campaigners and activists with decades of experience knew that to win our Independence they had get into the schemes and motivate them to register and vote, because the schemes held power. The masses held power. The Indy vote was in our schemes. And motivate they did.

Tommy Sheridan took his Hope Over Fear events to schemes all over Scotland. He went into local miners welfare clubs every week. News spread around our schemes that it was not to be missed. I was at the one in Penicuik and I struggled to get a seat!! 

He connected with the people there with speeches full of passion. Full of hope.

Radical Independence Campaign recognised the huge importance of voter registration. They canvassed non-stop, working in Glasgow and beyond, they seen where the Independence vote was, and they fired folk up to get registered.

Other groups done the same in the working-class areas of Scotland.

Activists stood outside the dole offices and the job centres, talking to the folk there signing on for their dole money, and having them sign up to vote at the same time.

The biggest message we had was hope. The motivation was hope. Gerry Cinnamon sung about having hope over Fear.

And we did start to hope. How could we not? I'd never seen anything like it. Our Council estates were politically energised for the 1st time in years.

Activists told us of Scotlands wealth. Its assets. Its resources. Its people. They told us how Independence would make our lives easier. How our bairns would have a brighter future in a land of plenty with more opportunities than we ever had.

Political conversations were everywhere. Debates in houses and pubs and streets. We dared to hope. We imagined a different life. A better life.

And on the 18th September, 2014, we voted. We turned out like never before. We had something worth voting for.

On the 19th of September I was devestated. We all were. But I still felt hopeful. I had seen people from my area become politically motivated through activism. Turnout was still high the following May and 56 out of 59 MP's were elected to Westminster.

But not long after that Independence seemed to move further away. The campaigners left the schemes. Activists in parties concentrated their campaigns in the areas that typically voted.

It seemed that while our votes mattered on the Constitutional question, they didn't matter so much in elections. We were left to deal and cope with life on our own again.

Inevitably the schemes became disilusioned and turnout dropped again. The hope was lost.

A decade later, and life in the schemes is even harder than it was back then.

If we are to get our Independence then we have to ramp up now and get back into our schemes.

The fight for our Freedom needs everyone on board. Nobody left behind. We need everyone's voice.

This time though, we canny go in and fill them with hope alone. They won't buy it. They were sold hope a decade ago and then abandoned.

Aye, we can tell them all about all about the benefits of independence,  but this time we also need to tap into another emotion.


We tell them that their situations and circumstances are not their failures.

We tell them if poverty was easy to escape then it wouldn't be multi generational.

We tell them how poverty makes a lot of middle and upper class folk a lot of money.

We tell them that they are not to blame for not being able to afford to heat their homes or fill their bellies.

We tell them that the deaths, the suicides, and the overdoses are a direct result of the poverty that Westminster keeps us in.

We tell them how they are making it harder for us to vote to suppress our voices.

We tell them that dogs are looked after better than they are. You'll get charged if you mistreat a dog. Who do we charge for oor mistreatment? For oor neglect?

We tell them that the shame they feel at their situations is not theirs to bear.

That shame lies in the halls of Westminster with the Governments who make the rich folk richer, while they rob the assets from the Scottish people and drain the life from the poor.

We have to get out there and turn folk's dejection into anger. Compliance into dissent. Apathy into determination. And we have to do it now because we are losing our own folk at a rate of knots I've not seen before.

We need to connect again with the folk who need it most. A boots on the ground campaign back in our schemes week in week out. The fight for independence must be ramped up now. Just walk out your front door into your own communities and tell folk the truth.

The hope of 2014 in the schemes has gone. A decade of struggle and sufferring has seen to that. But when we bring out that anger in people, and they find their voices, that hope will return and with it the determination to take our Independence and eradicate the scourge of poverty for good.

Registration and education in our own communities,  week in week out until we achieve our Freedom to carve out our own future in whatever way we choose.

The momentum needs to start now. The scheme army needs built now with as many people as possible,  all over Scotland.

I'm taking a back seat now. I'm not like other folk in politics.

We see it and feel it from a different angle. We see the reasons why people act as they do. We feel it.  I'll continue the fight in my own area and I hope others take this forward and do the same. We can aw make a difference in amongst our own folk. 

We just need to tell the truth. In oor own patch.

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