Tired of being told what Scotland can't do? This video by upcoming filmmakers Jack Foster and Christopher Silver shows what happens when 'No you can't' becomes 'Yes, we can'.
The YSI have today welcomed the vote in the Scottish Parliament which has extended marriage to same sex couples.
We would like to wholeheartedly congratulate the Scottish Parliament on passing equal marriage legislation today. We believe that marriage is an expression of love, regardless of gender.
We are pleased that our national Parliament has taken this opportunity to send a clear signal about the sort of country that we want Scotland to be - a modern, progressive, equal nation for all which will stand as passionate promoters and defenders of equality.
Marriage equality has the clear support of Scots young and old and the YSI are delighted that Scotland will be a better place for young LGBT people to live in, love in and marry in.
The amendments failing to pass is a testament to the strength of the Bill and its ability to protect religious freedom.
We look forward to a YES vote later this year so that we can enshrine the right to equal marriage in a written constitution.
It is not an exaggeration to say that we are the first ever generation of Young Scots to have been given the opportunity to have a say in the future of our country. As we enter into 2014, it is important to reflect upon how we arrived where we are today and the challenges that our forebears had to overcome to get here.
The YSI as a campaigning organisation was formed in 1992 underneath the Convenorship of Nicola Sturgeon. Since then, we have represented the growing desire amongst Scotland's youth for a fairer, more socially just and independent nation. From traditional door knocking to text message referendums to online campaigns we have constantly sought to engage more and more young people on the issue of independence and to bring our dream closer to reality.
Once there were few platforms from which we could express our desire for independence. Without a Scottish Parliament and without modern communications it was difficult for activists to draw attention to their arguments. In the decades prior to Winnie Ewing's historic 1967 Hamilton By-election win, there was no voice in Westminster which represented our cause. Instead, young Scots who were passionate about independence had to fight for the right to be considered even a minority view.
On the 18th of September 2014 our efforts will culminate in the asking of a question which has never been truly posed to the people of Scotland. Furthermore, this vote will be historic in that it will allow 16 and 17 year old Scots across the land to participate in the poll directly. This issue has been a priority for the YSI over the years and it highlights just how important the referendum is for Young Scots.
Let's make sure that our contribution to the debate is to firmly say that we will be the independence generation. Let the old journey end and the new journey begin with a YES!
Happy New Year!
The YSI is currently celebrating the fact that, yesterday, a majority of MSPs voted in favour of The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) bill! This legislation will ensure that all couples in Scotland who are in love with one another will be able to express that love through the act of marriage.
We believe in a fair, socially just and equal Scotland. This bill will both help to further that cause and bring a great deal of happiness to LGBT Scots all across the country. We are incredibly proud of the support our members have given to this wonderful campaign, we are incredibly proud of the Scottish Parliament for voting this bill through overwhelmingly at the first time of asking and we are incredibly proud of Scotland for showing once again that it can be a land which places equality and love on the highest pedestal.
Long may it continue.
Conference, Campaigning and Karaoke!
October was a busy month for the YSI!
Not only did we have an active presence across the country at our branch meetings, but we also managed to tear the house down for hundreds of people at our annual Conference Karaoke! Rumour has it that even our National Convenor David Linden was caught giving it Gangnam Style on the dancefloor, although a YouTube video has yet to be forthcoming.
Besides this, YSI members were out in force across Scotland delivering a positive message about our future. With just over 10 months to go until Scots both young and old are asked to make the most important decision that our country has ever been asked to make, it is clear that the case for independence resonates with young people. Just last month, Abertay University held a debate which showed that young people swing overwhelmingly in favour of a YES vote once they have heard both sides of the argument.
This, combined with recent trends in polling which show that more and more people are beginning to engage with the debate, highlights the importance of our efforts over the course of the next ten months. We must do everything we can to make sure that in eleven months time we can say that we helped to accomplish something wonderful for our nation. We must help to make sure that every Young Scot has the chance to make an informed decision. We must be the Independence Generation!
Yours for Scotland,
The YSI Team.
Remember, remember! We're now in November!
Next month promises to be another busy few weeks for the YSI. With one of our members (Laura Docherty!) standing in the Glasgow Shettleston by-election, YES campaigning and regional branch meetings galore, there will be a lot of ways for new and old members to help us in the final leg of our journey. Stay tuned in the upcoming days as we announce the dates of our next branch meetings!
If you are curious about how you can get involved, send an email to Contact@SNPYouth.com and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!
Besides all of this, we are always interested in receiving pictures from your own campaigning efforts! If you would like to contribute a photograph to our #YSI365 project, then send in your photos to KieranGlyn@SNPYouth.com!
16 year old Jules Connelly is a passionate supporter of Scottish Independence. At the 2013 March and Rally for Independence, he and his friend Niamh had an opportunity to meet and chat with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about the event, the referendum and why Young Scots should vote YES in next year's big vote. After the rally, Jules sent us his thoughts on the matter;
"We have always been involved with the independence campaign and we know lots of people in our age category who are attracted the prospect of a YES vote next year. We're constantly talking to people about the ideals which underpins the movement such as fairness and equality. We also feel that any young Scot of our age should consider voting YES because an independent Scotland would solidify our right to vote in elections, which is something the No campaign tried so vigorously to block.
"Me, Niamh Kane and another other friend (Caireen Stuart) had a great time at the rally and we were very pleased with the number of people who turned up to support the campaign. We thoroughly enjoyed the range of speeches at the rally, especially those of Nicola Sturgeon and Elaine C. Smith, as well as the wide range of other entertainment involved at the event!
"We're looking forward to the year ahead and can't wait for our chance to vote YES in September of next year!
- Jules Connelly."
Here is a selection of wonderful pictures from this year's March and Rally for Independence, which seen over 20,000 Scots turn out in support of a fairer future;
Kick starting off our #YSI365 year of photographs is our very own national convenor David Linden, showing us that even in the office you always have time for a little Gangnam Style in the name of Independence!
This marks the start of a very exciting year for the YSI and we ask that all YSI-ers get involved and get your picture into the #YSI365 hall of fame. We have had some great snaps and mini collages already sent in and we can't wait to share them all with you over the next 365 days as we help make history in Scotland!