Continuing our series of new #IndyIdeas, Braco has a practical project he needs help with.
Many thanks to Bella who have very kindly agreed to publish this short article simply requesting that any YES Shops that are currently still open, please send their details to:
We are trying to create an up to date register of the remaining Shops nationwide. So to this end, could you please send us your YESshop address, telephone number, email address, Face book page, Twitter account and the name of a contact. If your shop has closed but you still have a strong YESshop community activist group, please send us your details too and we will register you under Active community/YESshop closed. All respondents will be sent the completed list.
If we could get a roll call of all existing YESshops and activist community groups now that the dust has settled, then we could start to organise ourselves a bit more ‘nationally’ than we have up until now. This would allow for things like the cooperative creation of a newsletter, events diary, sharing of resources, fundraising, coordinated design and ordering of leaflets/ promotional shop gear etc., as well as a formal support structure to share successes and help with common problems.
It could also help open up possibilities of more unified strategic thinking and political direction among the YES shops and their activist communities. Essential with the all important Westminster elections looming and campaigning already under way. An ‘umbrella’ network, allowing all the vibrant, local, autonomous YESshop communities to contact and interact directly with each other as equals rather than through a centralised ‘headquarters’. A case in point by way of example. Largs YES shop is making it’s own submission to the Smith Commission. I am sure other YESshop’s and ExYesShop activist groups are doing the same. Imagine we had had a YES Shop registry up and running already and been able to coordinate nationally on a group submission. Would that not have been more powerful?
Having been very involved in the day to day running of the Largs Yes Shop, I regret that the YES Scotland headquarters never set up just such a fundamental register from the outset, although I and others did ask for such a resource. It would have meant YES shops could have easily worked with each other to source YESgear and plan events co-operatively amongst ourselves, rather than being forced (through lack of an alternative) to (almost) always do those things via the YES headquarters alone. This caused bottlenecking with ordering promotional YESgear for the shop, usually when most urgently needed (festivals and holiday weekends etc.).
Much more importantly however , it hindered established shops from being easily contactable to the newly opened (or those who were considering opening a YESshop). Unfortunately denying them valuable advice a and great mentoring opportunities through the sharing of practical experiences and hard earned campaigning knowledge. Re-inventing the wheel is definitely not a sensible use of time and resources when faced with an immovable deadline and May 7th 2015 is just such another deadline!
Therefore, we would now like (if belatedly) to grasp this opportunity to try and set up that YES shop co-operative power base, an opportunity which the official YES campaign unfortunately did not see, prioritise or value. We, however, think it could still prove to be a formidable weapon for Home rule/ Autonomy/ Independence in the upcoming Westminster and Holyrood election campaigns, as well as be an aid in and important voice for, the continuation of the ‘grassroots’ nature of our movement.
At this stage though we don’t even know how many YESshops and/or YESshop activist communities are still open! It’s difficult therefore to gauge the viability of these ideas without a basic register to work from. So please spread the word. We would much rather have duplicate responses than no responses at all, so don’t just assume someone else in your group has already registered. Once the registry is compiled we will send each respondent group a copy and (responses permitting) we can hopefully take it from there.
Please send the following information to :
YESshop Facebook page
YESshop email address
YESshop Twitter account
Looking forward to your replies.
National YESshop Registry