The below statement has been reproduced with the authors permission from a facebook post by the founder of All Under One Banner (AUOB) Neil Mackay. Independencelive.net cannot corroborate the statement and will not give opinion on the detail. What I can unambiguously say as an individual and as a participant in several of AUOB’s previous marches including the huge 8,000 strong one last summer, is that I will also be attending the next one. I would also encourage others to do so, as well as volunteer for security duties. The June 3rd march has the potential to be the largest pro-independence march to date and we should ensure we are allowed the freedom to express our views. When the powers that be try to prevent peaceful displays of democracy they may just inadvertently double our numbers…
===AUOB STATEMENT===AUOB STATEMENT===AUOB STATEMENT===AUOB STATEMENT===
The following statement is made by me in my role as the founder of All Under One Banner (AUOB), as the named organiser for the previous Six AUOB Independence Marches and as a current and ongoing AUOB group member. The statement made below I am compelled to make to inform the Independence movement and the general public of the background goings-on in respect of AUOB’s involvement with Core Security towards our 3rd June March for Independence. This statement is by me and me alone and is based upon my direct experience of events.
First let me set the background. On the 30th July last year Scotland had a highly successful and vibrantly peaceful 8,000 strong Independence March (number 6) as organised and made manifest by AUOB.
In the weeks after the March Glasgow City Council (GCC) called a de-brief meeting citing a number of concerns and issues as to the day’s proceedings- even though GCC were known to have turned off the George Square webcam as the mighty Procession entered the location.
Fundamentally GCC were and still are highly threatened by the Independence movement as currently the council is run by British (Scottish) Labour and as such they viewed the Impressive March as a direct ideological threat to them.
As a result of this Political bias GCC sent me a letter stating that I had failed in my duties as named organiser and that should I submit a notification for a public procession again in the City of Glasgow it would be passed to a Committee which GCC argued would be advised to disallow a Procession organised by myself- even though there were never any arrests or offences committed by any participants and no anti- social behaviour committed whatsoever.
Furthermore GCC put a restrictive Security condition against AUOB as an organisation stating that:
‘…..ALL STEWARDS will be accredited and sourced from professional stewarding companies’
Now for the greater good of the Independence cause in January of this Year I decided to sign off the active application that I had submitted for the 3rd June March (which was then set to be 29th April but subject to the availability of parks down the line the date was changed and changed for the better now as only 5 days before the General Election on 8th June) and one of the AUOB group came forward to be the named organiser for this next event. I made this decision solely so as to not give GCC what they wanted which was a long drawn out saga of an application with the Council delaying approval with their politically biased bureaucratic nonsense to the detriment of the movement.
Now not long before this development AUOB received a message from a person called Barbara McLaughlin, who purported to be an Independence supporter and who said she had a good friend who owned his own Security Company, this man is called Tony Hendry of Core Security. Even though we had circumvented the council with the first of their obstacles (me as named organiser) the discriminatory security condition as detailed above remained applicable to AUOB as an organisation regardless, so when I received this news and after discussing with the group I called Tony Hendry in December 2016 and we made an arrangement to meet up after the new year around mid-January.
Upon this meeting Tony presented his Solution to the problem, that he as a Professional Security trainer would train up the volunteers we would ingather and as such this would comply with the Councils strict condition. Tony said he was giving his time ‘Free of charge’ yet the cost of training each Volunteer would be £20 per head plus VAT meaning £24 billed to AUOB per person trained. Tony made it very clear several times that he was an Independence supporter, a statement that has been since put to the test and exposed as utter nonsense in the weeks that have followed. The plan was that we would have hundreds of Volunteers trained and led by Tony and some of Core’s professional Stewards we would be the best organised Procession ever etc etc etc.
Now, considering all options at the time this seemed a good proposal and as a group we rolled with it, viewing it as a solution to the main obstacle that GCC had put in our path.
What followed was several weeks of Volunteers training at Core Security’s premises at Charing Cross on Wednesday evenings however within a couple of weeks of the sessions being underway Tony and Barbara (who was now involved as the Core Security admin helper- responding to emails on the AUOB email account as a delegated task) were getting significantly frustrated at the lack of Volunteers that were coming through the training program and the reason that has come to light for this is that it is now perceptible they had a big vision of making a lot of money out of the AUOB on and the Independence movement and even though classes were running weekly it just wasn’t enough for Tony, the pound signs spinning in his eyes driving him on to continually demand immediate action to increase numbers of volunteers.
Over and above this AUOB was being invoiced by Core Security on a weekly basis, piling debt upon a grass-roots organisation with pressure to pay being a regular occurrence.
Meanwhile in reality, the Independence movement had come forward with a great number of volunteers however it was detectable to me that the reason the movement were not coming forward in their hundreds and hundreds was that the movement did not deeply support the strategy that we were taking which was full compliance with the council’s discriminatory condition and involving a Corporate Security Company; some of whose professional stewards were ‘Unionists’ and would be such on the day of the March. This was also proven by the fact that we launched a crowdfunder to raise funds to pay for the security costs of the event and although a great number of people donated the project flat-lined so I decided to cancel the crowdfunder half way into its term- and might I add not one penny was ever received by AUOB as it had to reach its target and didn’t manage to so no pledges were in the end taken or received.
Nevertheless we continued with the sessions until it equally became clear to me that Tony Hendry had a much more sinister agenda. Not only was he intent on making a lot of money out of the Independence movement but that he wanted ever increasing control and influence over AUOB as an organisation. Tony Hendry offered AUOB his premises to hold weekly group meetings which began to happen and even offered to lend AUOB a four figure sum of money to which I said we must refuse. All in all from my perspective the boundaries between who AUOB was and who Core Security was were becoming blurred and hazy, with both Tony and Barbara positioning themselves as active members not just of Core Security as the Sub-contracted Security company but as AUOB group members in their own right. Moreover Tony had made several attempts to apply media censorship to the AUOB Facebook page; trying to gain ever increasing influence over the media content of a very successful Indy page. This was a red flag to a bull for me and this was the alarm bell that made me smell a Rat.
As such I raised these serious concerns with my fellow group members and this culminated in a meeting being scheduled, at Cores premises. I knew I was walking into a Kangaroo court, a set-up, as Tony sat there with some of his members of Core security alongwith other members of the AUOB group also present. Tony refused an AUOB group member into the meeting room claiming that as ‘nobody knew him’ it wasnt right to bring him into the ‘business meeting’, yet upon entering the room there was a man that i had never met before in my life and this was somehow acceptable. What followed was an attempt by Tony Hendry to completely discredit me in front of everyone concerned. His verbal assault was impressive and constant but I held my own and refuted his list of unsubstantiated allegations in his place of business power. Tony said he had ‘looked into me’ and that I was a ‘bad influence on the group’ and that I alone was to blame for the lack of volunteer stewards; that I have done ‘absolutely nothing’ towards the event and AUOB as an organisation, amongst many many other direct nasty comments aimed at eliminating me.
What followed next was that Tony told me to handover control of AUOB Social media over to the group (i.e. him) to which I steadfastly refused. Tony’s response to this was that if I had anything to do with AUOB then he would have nothing to do with it and would write a Letter to GCC terminating his company’s involvement towards the 3rd June March. The meeting ended as a stalemate in that I walked away rightfully not rescinding control to such a man, with in my mind clear Anti-Independence agenda, and Tony walking away stating that he would withdraw Core Security altogether.
What followed was a meeting with GCC two days later by the AUOB group including Tony as the security provider which he did not mention a word of this to the Council and said that all would be well on the day- even though I was and always will be clearly involved in AUOB which again looked strange to me in its contradiction compared to what he said only two days before.
However I had thereafter come to the conclusion that Tony Hendry and Core were definitely going to pull out of the vent at one point that was certain to me. What followed and what has happened in the last three weeks I will now reveal.
Barbara McLaughlin and Tony Hendry covertly set up a Facebook page called Indyfest and created a Fundraising event to raise funds to pay themselves. Now as I refused to publicise it on AUOB and as such the event was not being officially endorsed they decided to change strategy. Next they set up a Fake AUOB page. They took the official AUOB profile picture and cover graphic along-with the page description, website link etc and created a brand new page holding this page out to be All Under One Banner and they then made the fundraising ceilidh event an ‘AUOB’ event hoping that this would give it the endorsement they wanted it to have. I discovered all of this through a great many trusted friends that I have online and I was sent all evidence of this and who was behind it. All of this evidence was then passed on to the other members of the AUOB group who subsequently challenged Barbara and Tony at the next meeting that took place (last Wednesday), to which both of them categorically denied it was them. In the days that followed more evidence was amassed and passed onto the AUOB group until I received a text on Saturday informing me that Core Security have now pulled out of the event altogether; surprise surprise as they had been rumbled.
Since the weekend much information has come into my possession outlining the extent of the Core Security attempted takeover of AUOB, including that for the last couple of weeks Tony Hendry and Barbara McLaughlin have been constantly requesting that the AUOB Facebook page be deleted/taken down- to which the group categorically refused, even though the powers to do this rest only with myself and one other trusted admin who has been on the page since the 2014 beginning with me.
Moreover I have come to find out that Tony Hendry has written a big letter to GCC not only pulling Core Security out of the march but discrediting the entire event and the Independence movement to boot. He is also recorded as of saying he is going to go to the press and let the press know his (Negative Anti-Independence) story. Now at a time when Scotland is facing two important elections on the 4th May and 8th June respectively it must be questioned why someone who says personally he supports Independence would attempt to do such a hatchet job on his departure when if he really wanted to leave he would leave quietly? It must be asked why Tony and Barbara thought it acceptable to plagiarise AUOB? Or why they are posting on Social media in a smear campaign against me whilst discrediting the entire event and the movement in equal measure?
In my opinion Tony Hendry and Barbara McLaughlin etc are at the very least egotistical Money driven charlatans who saw an opening to get involved with AUOB to make lots of money from it and elevate their status, people who had a clear agenda to take over the group and the page and bring it under their ownership and when this wasn’t happening they set up a spoof page and tried to sabotage the official site by unsuccessfully persuading AUOB group members to delete it altogether. At the very worst Tony Hendry and Barbara McLaughlin are stooges, infiltrators sent in by the authorities in an attempt to get control over AUOB and to destroy the activist group so as to ensure the 3rd June Independence March and all consecutive AUOB Marches do not happen, with GCC placing a condition in place that gave an opening to such fraudsters who were wolves in sheep’s clothing as sent in with a job to do.
Common sense tells me it is the former money making takeover attempt which is applicable but I have an open mind and will not rule out the latter considering how important it is for the British state to keep Scotland locked within the UK, especially in such highly charged political times as we currently live in.
So fortunately no matter whom Tony Hendry, Barbara McLaughlin and Core security actually are they have not succeeded in taking over AUOB.
I want to give everyone my absolute assurance that no matter what transpires in the coming weeks from GCC the 3rd June March for Independence is going ahead. AUOB is a brilliant organisation full of dedicated and inspiring activists who will ensure that not only will we have more than enough Stewards and Security provisions in place for the March but that the event will run like clockwork and will be, as always, a Safe and peaceful family friendly event for young and old.
If you want to be a steward then please text the official AUOB mobile number on 07526279205 and give your name etc. All those previously ‘trained’ by Core are required to do the same and send a text to us as Tony Hendry is refusing to hand over your details until he gets paid in full.
This Independence March and AUOB belongs to the People of Scotland and this is how they shall remain, and as such shall never be taken over by any group or individuals with ill intent toward the Cause and the people’s right to gather and take part in Public Processions in support of Scotland regaining Independence; this is the Peoples March.
I for one feel a lot better shedding light on what I have been carrying about with me for many weeks and I feel proud to have served the movement by holding firm and not handing AUOB over to a bunch of charlatans who would have one way or another destroyed the event and the credibility of the Independence movement for sure.
I want to thank everyone for their ongoing support in the coming weeks.