The Caledonian Turn – people’s protest, alternative media and campaigning in the run up to the Scottish Referendum, 2014.
The Scottish Referendum has provided the opportunity for a groundswell of people’s protest and involvement in political campaigning that exists out with official channels of political and media discourses. While the Yes campaign can be seen to be situated out with the mainstream of official Westminster UK politics, in Scotland grassroots campaigning and political activism has created sites of protest and communities of shared interest that sit independently of a defined political party stance and rather which represent a social movement that supports ‘Yes’ that is diverse, de-centralised, peripheral and which creates its own events, protests, debates and discussion.
This paper will discuss Scotland’s sites of referendum protest from debates and meetings across the country, in town halls, schools and community centres to demonstrations at BBC Scotland against biased reporting to graffiti in public spaces and to musical concerts, art works and cultural events which can be described for both creators and audiences as sites of protest, celebrating alternative expressions of Scottishness and political, social and cultural experience and expectation.
Small scale and activist media has played a central role in this campaign, with online commentary and news sites such as Newsnet Scotland, Wings over Scotland and Bella Caledonia growing networks of support and activism and intimately linked to publics through social media. These are sites of protest, but also of hope and constructive dialogue that share information and discussion that is not given a platform through official news and media outlets such as the BBC and STV.
‘Sites of Protest’ MeCCSA Protest Network, Canterbury Christchurch University. “The Caledonian Turn – People’s Protest and Alternative Media in the Run up to the Scottish Referendum, 2014.” (This conference paper was developed as a book chapter for Rowman & Littlefield
Macleod, K. (2014, October). “The Caledonian Turn – People’s Protest and Alternative Media in the Run up to the Scottish Referendum, 2014”. Paper presented at ‘Sites of Protest’ MeCCSA Protest Network Conference, Canterbury Christchurch University, Canterbury Christchurch University