Last week I was curious about the abuse that yes campaigner / pro-indy people received in our free and democratic country. So I asked the Twitterworld to DM me or @ me their stories so that we could openly look at it head on.
Nothing could prepare me for the volume (50+ stories within a few hours) or the nature of some of the stories ranging from vehicle damage to physical assaults.
MSM media never covers these stories because they disrupt the narrative of evil cybernats. But these stories are not from the internet – they are from the real world.
Whilst attending a Gaelic band gig in the Highlands, a gentleman suffering from spondylitis was wearing a Yes T-shirt. He was lured into a situation by younger men claiming to all be Yes supporters. Once they had him they assaulted him by punching him from behind.
“I wore my Yes t-shirt and was enjoying myself in the crowd when two lads tapped on my shoulder. They said “hey are you yes?” to which I replied that I was. They replied “Good, we are too”. I shook their hands and we had a smile between us all. They had had a few drinks and were much younger than me so I was chuffed they reached out. I turned around and less than 30 seconds later I felt a punch in the middle of my back. A third guy was standing there with his girlfriend and he shouted at me aggressively “I’m voting NO”. I just replied “Good for you in a dismissive tone but waited the rest of the evening for the rest of the attack. It never materialised but my wife was very upset as I have ankylosing spondylitis (arthritis in my spine)”
This was not the only physical assault merely an example of ten I received within hours of making the request.
“I took a punch from 2 unionist thugs” – became common in my DM box. Independence Supporter being physically assaulted outside and, in one case, at someone’s own house.
In another story “A son & a friend were told to leave Edinburgh Castle esplanade for having a Yes Saltire as it was “political”
Even in public locations a Saltire was viewed as being inappropriate…in Scotland, it’s point of origin.
A lot of the stories involved serious damage to vehicles from slashed tyres to really grim (downright disgusting)-
“My car was smeared with dog s**te”
However some car incidents were far more sinister and potentially dangerous to life.
“I had a couple of yobs draw up beside my car at lights and slam their driver’s side door into my passenger door a couple of times shouting ‘Nazi’s’ before they drove off. Quite scary at the time”
And what’s worse most of the stories were not from the past. Most were from more recent events for people supporting independence parties;
“wife’s motor was scratched outside the SNP hub in Bathgate”
“wiper and wing mirror smashed and sides and bonnet keyed”
People’s houses also had bricks and rocks thrown at their homes.
“Was in the sitting room and the next thing a big thud. A stone cracked the window”
Although cars were the heaviest causalities – slashed tyres, dented bonnets, ripped off number plates, smashed windows, broken window screen wipers and key slashes – they are swiftly followed by physical assaults and vandalism to properties.
The victims of these crimes responded to different degrees. Some responded by removing their pro-indy materials or party stickers to save themselves from future abuse . Other people decided to put even more stickers or posters up and became even more resolute in their opinions.
I was the former. In my street my bin was set on fire and pushed over my front door so I took everything down to avoid more abuse however it did solidify my vote which would be forever pro-indy.
People have seen their banners and placards go missing and some people have suffered abuse and damage to properties over long periods of times (particular with vehicle sabotage) running into months.
I asked a few people; If you had known what would happen – would you do it again? And most of them said something akin to “Hell Yeah!” which was good to hear but it should not be like this – people having to risk their wellbeing.
Another consistency was that the Police did not seem to do much about it (I asked people who had been the victims of the most serious crimes). Few people reported the abuse as crimes, but the ones that did felt that nothing was really done.
People should be able to express their views in a democratic country without fear from or actual physical assault and damage to properties. It is one thing to have abuse over Twitter, a completely different story to have it at your front door.