The youth wing of the Scottish National Party (SNP) has announced its plans to empower its regional members and increase their involvement in the independence movement. The Young Scots for Independence (YSI) held its annual conference last week, where it passed several resolutions to improve its structure and outreach.
YSI vice-convener shares her journey
Maya Hay, the newly elected vice-convener of the YSI, shared her journey of joining the SNP and becoming an activist for Scottish independence. Hay, who is originally from Barcelona, said she was inspired by the example of Scotland in 2014, when it held a peaceful and democratic referendum on its constitutional future.
Hay joined the Stirling University’s Scottish National Society (SUSNA) in 2018, where she met like-minded people who cared about Scotland and its potential. She also attended events hosted by SNP politicians, such as Jamie Hepburn MSP, where she learned about the arguments and facts for independence.
Hay said she was excited to take on her new role and work with the YSI membership, the convener and the national executive committee (NEC). She said her next steps were to elevate the youth members’ engagement and enhance their experience in the movement by fostering a thriving community across the YSI.
YSI passes resolutions to empower regions and members
One of the resolutions passed by the YSI conference was based on the recommendations from the national secretary’s internal review, which marked the most significant transfer of powers to the YSI members ever to happen. The resolution aimed to open NEC working groups to all members, empower the regions by giving them full autonomy over their own working structures and improve the YSI by supporting its members more.
Another resolution passed by the conference was to continue writing a column for the SNP’s Independence Magazine and open this opportunity to the membership. Hay said she wanted the women members and members across all of the equality groups to know that the YSI was a safe place for them to develop their activism and for their voices to be heard.
Hay also said she wanted to advance the success of the YSI by collaborating with fellow members and affiliations, such as BAME, to develop strategies for outreach support and education opportunities. She said working with BAME was something the YSI had started, thanks to the efforts of the national equalities officer, Temisan Atssegoh.
YSI prepares for the 2021 elections
Hay said the 2021 Scottish parliament elections were going to be the elections of independence, as more and more people were realizing the benefits of leaving the union and the failures of the Westminster government. She said the YSI would continue to campaign for the SNP and the pro-independence majority in the parliament, which would pave the way for a second referendum.
Hay said she was confident that the young voters would support independence, as the recent polls showed. She said the young people of Scotland had a vision for a fairer, greener and more prosperous country, and they would not let the Brexit and Covid-19 crises dampen their hopes.
Hay said the YSI was ready to play a significant role in sharing the positive message for Scotland and shaping the party’s direction toward achieving independence. She said the YSI was not only fighting for Scotland, but for all the other independence movements across the world.