Declaration o Aiberbrothock (Arbroath)
April 6, 1320
The closing of schools, businesses, the cancellation of the Olympics, Wimbledon and sport does not sadden me as much as the inability to be in Arbroath this historic weekend. I have waited decades to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration which signalled the rights of people to an independent nation. Scotland, like the original nations of North America, had been an independent nation longer than its colonialist English rulers when the papal petition was signed on April 6, 1320:
‘That crossing from Greater Scythia, via the Tyrhennian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and living in Spain among the fiercest tribes for many years, it could be conquered by no one anywhere…one hundred and thirteen kings have reigned of their own blood royal, without interruption by foreigners.
We do not fight for honour, riches, or glory, but solely for freedom which no true man gives up but with his life.’
That ‘kings’ should be chosen by the people was a concept born in Arbroath this weekend 700 years ago. Although I remain at home this weekend, my spirit will be in Arbroath, and Alba’s birth of social justice.