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The route map to Independence

”We must ensure that no one part of the Yes movement and no one party takes over and tries to control the campaign”

THIS month in the latest iScot Q&A feature, DAVE BOWMAN puts the questions to Scottish Green Party Co- Convenor MAGGIE CHAPMAN, who moved to Scotland from Zimbabwe 19 years ago and, since then, has played a significant part in her party’s rise from relative obscurity to become one of the key groupings at Holyrood and in the ongoing Independence campaign.

A socialist, environmentalist, anticuts activist, peace campaigner, former Edinburgh councillor and feminist, Maggie is living proof that Independence is not just about Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. Here’s her views on Brexit, Donald Trump, the next Independence referendum and much more…

DAVE BOWMAN: Why did you move from Zimbabwe to Scotland and as - in your own words - an ‘immigrant’ how did you feel when you heard last June that the UK had voted to leave the EU?

MAGGIE CHAPMAN: I moved to Edinburgh in 1998 to study Zoology at the University of Edinburgh. I couldn’t do this in Zimbabwe at the time and had considered South African universities. But South Africa was like home - our extended family was there and we went there every year to see them.

My Mum and Dad said that, if I was going to leave home to study, I might as well do it properly and go to a completely new place. I did some digging, asked some questions, and ended up applying to various UK institutions. I had never visited Edinburgh (we’d been on one family holiday to the UK when I was 14 years old) but liked the sound of it, so added it to the list.

I initially planned to go to Bristol University, but friends of friends offered me somewhere to stay in Edinburgh until I found my feet, which made the whole prospect much more affordable for me. I thought I’d be in Scotland for three or four years. But, nearly 19 years later, I’m still here and can’t really imagine calling anywhere else home. I am most certainly ‘Scots by choice’ now.

Maggie is living proof that Independence is not just about Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP

I have always felt welcome in Scotland and greatly value and appreciate how I’ve been accepted into many Scottish communities. However I know that some other immigrants have not felt such a warm welcome and have had previously friendly relationships tarnished by the EU Referendum vote last June. When the result became clear, I think the overwhelming feeling I had was one of anger. I was angry that we (the Remain campaign in its broadest sense) had not done enough to challenge the anti-immigration rhetoric of many Conservatives and UKIP politicians and most of the media.

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About iScot Magazine

iScot Magazine April 2017 - issue 28 116 quality pages from THE ONLY TRULY INDEPENDENT PRO SCOTTISH MAGAZINE PUBLISHER HQ'd IN SCOTLAND. "The one with 'Blaze the mountaineering dug' front cover" Featuring the best writers in Scotland today Robbie Dinwoodie, Tom Morton, Derek Bateman, Will MacLeod, Wee Ginger Dug, Jennifer Harper, Grousebeater, Major Bloodnok, Zoe Weir, Vivien Martin, Dave Bowman, Mary Edward, Alyn Smith MEP, Peter A Bell, Dr Steve McCabe, Ann MacKinnon, Angela Robb, David MacKenzie, and Jason Michael McCann