Organisers estimate hundreds of thousands of Scottish independence supporters have marched through Edinburgh, with calls intensifying for a fresh vote on Scotland breaking away from the United Kingdom as a possible no-deal Brexit looms.
Rally organisers All Under One Banner (AUOB) said more than 200,000 people – some wearing kilts and playing bagpipes – filled the Scottish capital’s winding streets, far exceeding their turnout predictions.
As a sea of blue Saltire flags flowed through the heart of the city and its famous Royal Mile, demonstrators chanted: “What do we want? Independence!”
Although Scotland voted against independence from the UK in a referendum in 2014, organisers said a breakaway from the UK had been given fresh momentum by the ongoing wrangle over Brexit.
The majority of Scots voted to remain in the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum, in which the majority of Britons voted to leave.
Harry Baird, an apprentice marine engineer taking part in the rally, said he wanted to join what he believed would be the biggest rally in the country’s history.
“There’s a lot more [people] that I thought I would see, to be honest,” the 19-year-old told the BBC.
“[I want] more radical and instant Scottish independence. Any change from what it is now would be worth it,” he said.
Lawyer and Scottish National Party (SNP) politician Joanna Cherry, who was behind one of the successful legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament, was also present at the march.