A VETERAN independence activist who was a key figure in a controversial Scotland-England border protest frowned on by Nicola Sturgeon has insisted it was not an anti-English move.

Dave Llewellyn, one of the leaders of a 500 mile walk around Scotland for independence launched by current SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford two years ago on Skye, who was at last Saturday's demonstration said they were highlighting that there was no control over people crossing the border into Scotland in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown.


Mr Blackford with Mr Llewellyn behind.  Source: Broadcasting Scotland YouTube video

His comments came as a small group led by nationalist activist Sean Clerkin carried out a further roadside protest at the border.

Mr Clerkin, a serial protester, campaigner and nationalist activist announced the move as the First Minister said protestors who displayed a "keep Scotland Covid free" banner at the border with England on Saturday "do not speak for me" adding that it is not "sensible or helpful".

READ MORE: Border protesters threatened to 'shame to death' northbound travellers by publicly posting number plates

Nicola Sturgeon has not ruled out a quarantine system for people coming to Scotland from other parts of the UK and stressed it was "about public health", not "whether people in England are welcome in Scotland".

There has been an escalating row between the Scottish and UK governments over the issue, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying "there is no such thing as a border between Scotland and England" and Ms Sturgeon hitting out at "absurd and ridiculous political statements".

On Saturday, a small group of protestors gathered at the side of the A1 road at the border, wearing protective overalls and encouraging people to "stay out" of Scotland.

The protesters threated to publicly post number plates of caravanners and campervans who cross the border to stop northbound travel.


To the tune of the Proclaimers' Sunshine on Leith, one demonstrator said: "We are getting the numbers of caravans and mobile homes that are coming up over the border and posting them. If they won't stay at home we will shame them to death. We are here with the Yes convoy."

The group were widely criticised both by Scottish government figures and opposition politicians, with Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf tweeting that "these morons don't represent the Scotland I know and love".

But Mr Llewellyn said: "We were there to draw attention to the fact that people were coming across the border willy nilly.

"It was not against English people, we couldn't tell who was coming over the border. We couldn't tell what nationality, we just knew they were coming from an area to another area."

He said Mr Clerkin's protest had "nothing to do with our group, and we don't support what they are doing".

Mr Clerkin, in launching his "non-violent peaceful protest" said that Ms Sturgeon and Mr Yousef should be praising the Saturday protesters "for being good Scottish patriots and for standing up for the people of Scotland."

Mr Blackford, joined the 500 Mile walk group on Skye, and walked with them while cutting a ribbon of Saltires to mark the start of the expedition and applauded them on their way.


The walk backed by the Proclaimers was not without incident.

They were at one point banned from Stirling Castle and Mr Llewellyn said it was proof of a "concerted attack on the Yes movement".

He announced that they had been "threatened with the police by Historic Environment Scotland at Stirling Castle after being asked to leave the property and refusing".

HES said the group were approached at the Esplanade at Stirling Castle because the demonstration was "unauthorised".

Mr Clerkin posted a video from the scene of the motorway Scottish border sign saying their demonstration was about stressing that the nation has its own border and that all non-essential travel northbound should be stopped because the Covid-19 infections are "five times higher in England", than it is in Scotland.

READ MORE: Nationalist agitator to lead new border Covid-19 protest in defiance of Nicola Sturgeon

"People should take their staycation in England and don't come up here,"he said. "Think of the people of Scotland. Don't come up here and endanger other people. Stay south, where you're safe."

Ms Sturgeon said in her daily coronavirus briefing earlier this week: "This is not a question about whether people in England are welcome in Scotland - of course they are, just as people in Scotland are hopefully welcome in England. It's about public health and I will take decisions based on protecting the people of Scotland if there is a risk to public health.

"That is not political or constitutional and it is certainly not based on any desire to keep English people out of Scotland."

Another  activist who was behind last Saturday's demonstration denied racism and has reportedly said he took his lead from senior SNP figures who sent similar messages.

Ian McNeil said that he believed he had been echoing messages from the top of the party at the event, in which protesters claimed they were “protecting the border” against higher levels of Covid-19 infections in England by urging tourists to “staycation in your own nation”.

Mr McNeil said: “For some weeks now the locals up north, including one SNP leader, have tried to discourage tourists from holidaying here until further notice… that’s what the demo was all about."

He did not say which leader.