Scotland is a small country with a big opportunity.
On 18 September, Scotland's people will decide whether it should be an independent country, separate from the United Kingdom.
What’s radical about the Radical Independence Campaign?
For us, independence isn't an end in itself - it's the first step towards creating a fairer, greener, more equal society. We want a Scotland where everyone can prosper – not just the rich and powerful. We want to close the gap between rich and poor, and make sure that ordinary people can get involved in their own democracy. We want to abolish nuclear weapons and support a foreign policy based on peace, aid and diplomacy.
Independence won’t automatically solve everything, but it will bring decision making power much closer to the people who live with the consequences. The day after the referendum, our real work begins, making sure everyone’s voice is heard. That's why we're focusing on building a grassroots movement now.
Aberdeen is the energy capital of Europe and seat of the North Sea oil industry. Per capita, Aberdeen has more multimillionaires than anywhere else in the UK – even London (source: The Guardian's Data Blog). But we also have some of the most deprived areas in Scotland, where one in three children grows up in poverty. Across the city as a whole, twenty percent of people live below the poverty line. Aberdeen is a wealthy city, but the concentration of that wealth leaves many people struggling to make ends meet.
These are the people we’re connecting with. Every week, we’re canvassing in Aberdeen’s regeneration areas, speaking with people who are suffering under Westminster’s austerity agenda.
We’re starting conversations, asking people what matters to them and what they’re worried about. Disenfranchised people have the most to gain from independence, but they're the least likely to vote. So we’re clarifying the facts and reminding people that their views are important. Their struggles are not inevitable and they’re not an accident – they’re a direct result of choices made by the people in power. But together, we can turn things around.
Who are we?
We’re ordinary people. Some of us are lifelong activists; others have never been politically active before. We are young and old, women and men, workers and pensioners, native-born Scots and immigrants. We’re not professional politicians and we don’t represent any political parties. The Radical Independence Campaign is a collection of autonomous groups in cities and towns across Scotland, focusing on local issues. Our group makes decisions by consensus and everyone volunteers to do what they can. We are trying to ’be the change we want to see.‘
What we’re doing
We’ve achieved a lot since April 2013 (full details on our website). In addition to weekly canvassing and maintaining our popular blog, we have:
- Hosted public meetings in regeneration areas and the city centre to facilitate in-depth discussions.
- Held stalls to speak with people both in the city centre and at independence debates.
- Hosted speakers from around Scotland, including speakers from Palestine and Catalonia.
- Appeared in the local newspaper after collecting letters against the City Council’s anti-independence message.
- Spoken on local radio, in public debates, and at events like the annual May Day march.
Why we need your help
Momentum is growing – but we're entirely funded by donations and out of pocket. The anti-independence campaign has money and the support of the mainstream media. What we have is people power – and our £500 goal will help us stay focused on building a grassroots movement.
What the money will be spent on
- To hire rooms for public meetings and events – especially for booking community centres, so we're not reliant on pubs (we want our events to be accessible for people with children, for 16- and 17-year-old voters, and for people who prefer )
- To print flyers and posters
- For transport to regional and national organising meetings
- To cover transport for national speakers
- To keep our blog ad-free
If we meet or exceed our goal, there are lots of plans we'd love to put into action: film screenings, more stalls, themed events (specifically addressing issues that affect older people or immigrants, for example). We've been invited to hold a meeting in Shetland, which is a 12-hour ferry journey away. There are events around the country we would like to support, if we could cover people's transport.
Part of the money we raise now will also be used as seed money for establishing a civic forum in Aberdeen, regardless of the referendum's outcome. Whether Scotland is independent or not, we are committed to improving our democracy and fighting for what's important: equality, sustainability, social justice.
Why get involved?
If you want to support our vision of a fairer, greener Scotland, if you want to become part of our grassroots movement, no contribution is too small – and even if you can’t donate money, we hope you’ll want to share this page with your friends, wherever you are in the world.
This isn't just about Scotland. We hope that by changing Scotland, we can provide examples for the rest of the UK, the rest of Europe, the rest of the world. We can become leaders in sustainable energy, participatory democracy, robust social services, workers' rights, and pursuing goals that are more important than profit. We can become the answer to all the people who say it can't be done, and inspire others to fight for change in their own countries, cities, and neighbourhoods.
- £5 or more: our eternal gratitude and a personal thank-you on our website
- £10 or more: as above, plus an original RIC Aberdeen postcard and sticker set
- £25 or more: as above, plus extra stickers and an RIC badge
- £50 or more: as above, plus an exclusive RIC Aberdeen magnet and a national RIC poster (A3 size)
- £100 or more: as above, plus an exclusive RIC Aberdeen notebook and a unique DVD with several hours of documentaries, films and music looking at Scotland from a radical perspective
Below are the designs for the items we'll be sending as rewards. Badges will be chosen randomly, but if your heart is set on a particular design, please let us know!
Even with the rewards above, the biggest reward will be knowing you’ve helped win a Yes vote and supported our vision of radical social change. Please help Aberdeen lead the way to independence, and help Scotland show the world what a small country can do!
P.S. Explanation of images:
- Top 2 images: from the national independence march in Edinburgh, 21 September 2013
- First collage: aerial view of Aberdeen / and tower blocks in Tillydrone
- Second collage, top to bottom: stall collecting complaint letters against the City Council / delivering the complaint letters in a ceremony at the Council headquarters / weekend canvassing in Torry in February / Scottish Independence and Internationalism event / weeknight canvassing in Torry in April / speaking at Aberdeen's 2014 May Day rally
- Third collage, left to right: canvassing in Tillydrone / speaking in a debate at Robert Gordon University / public meeting in Tillydrone / conversation at our stall in the city centre
- Last image: Scotland has more pandas (2) than Conservative MPs (1) – that's why a panda is our mascot!