On Saturday, up to 30000 people walked through Edinburgh to Calton Hill for a rally for independence. A contingent from Radical Independence joined three busloads of Yes supporters from Dundee. It was a great day out and, as always on these occasions, especially good to meet up with old friends from across the country. But let’s not imagine that Saturdays event caused any undecided or no voters to change their minds.
The referendum will not be won by marching through Edinburgh or anywhere else. It will be won by chappin’ on a’bodies door in Charleston, and all the other schemes, in Dundee and in every town and city in Scotland. We will only win this referendum by convincing people, in one to one situations, of the necessity, and possibilities, of a Yes vote.
Think of the impact the 150 Dundonians who made the trip to Calton Hill could make if they all made the somewhat shorter trip to Charleston, or wherever Yes Dundee or Radical Indy are canvassing, and started converting don’t knows into Yes voters. That is where we start to build the momentum that will ensure victory next September. It’s not glamorous, but the foot-slogging and door-chappin’ is the foundation for success.
Canvassing effectively does require skills and organisation, so Radical Indy Dundee have invited community organiser Nick Durie to host a Campaigning Skills workshop on 5th October. Nick has been trained in 1-2-1 methods by the TUC . He is an active canvasser and believes the only way we will win a YES vote in the coming referendum is by active canvassing up and down the country, reaching out where the mass media will not allow us The following is Nick’s outline of the workshop.
GET THE SKILLS YOU NEED TO MAKE CHANGE
“In Scotland around 4 million people are registered to vote. Many don’t. Scotland’s last parliamentary election saw just over half of these 4 million people vote: just over 2 million people. That means many people are not even able to participate. It would not be unfair to characterise this as a “missing million,” but the bigger point is that democracy or the exercise of the right to vote is something that is done in greater numbers by more privileged parts of Scotland.
In many ways this shapes – and distorts – political debate. When it comes to the referendum campaign this has never been more true. Those who stand to gain most from independence are often missing from a self-serving mainstream discussion. These are the people, the poor and disenfranchised, that the Radical Independence Campaign is going to reach, by talking about the real issues , pioneering a voter registration drive, and providing the information: 100,000 Radical Independence leaflets and 20,000 infographic pamphlets.
We want to make this the best experience possible so advice, support and guidance on how to be an effective vote winner will be to hand, in this training meeting for activists, to ensure you have the skills and the tools you need to register thousands of Scots to vote, and to build a picture of what the real Scotland is saying on the doorsteps. We will be specifically targeting communities where we know there are lots of people who are not registered to vote.
What will be covered? Canvassing: What it is / What it is not? Building the relationship. 121 techniques – the trade union organiser model. Using canvas data in your campaign.
Scotland can be a participative democracy. Scotland can be a society of equality. Scotland can be a just economy. Scotland can be a great welfare state. Scotland can be a good neighbour. Scotland can be a moral nation.
This is a Scotland which British politics has robbed from the Scottish people. We want it back.”
The campaigning skills workshop takes place on Saturday 5th October from 11am to 2pm in room T6, Tower Building, University of Dundee. https://www.facebook.com/events/463019813795553/