It is immeasurably important that before we make a response to the concerns of the administrators of Yes Shetland concerning the Butterfly Rebellion that we, as the Butterfly Rebellion, make it perfectly clear that we are great supporters of Yes Scotland and every individual Yes group over the whole of Scotland and beyond. The Butterfly Rebellion is committed to the lived practice of independence in Scotland and to the political realisation of that lived reality. We are in awe of the work that Yes Shetland has done since December 2012, and the part it played in securing 5,669 votes for independence on 18 September. This could not have been done without their dedication and great efforts. The Butterfly Rebellion does not pretend to take any of the credit for the work that these wonderful people have done over the course of the campaign, and continue to do in our joint effort to secure the independence of Scotland at the soonest opportunity. This response is in no sense, therefore, to be seen as an attack on the administrators of Yes Shetland. It is simply a response to the very valid questions that they have raised over a number of Facebook updates. Regrettably, possibly through misunderstanding, these updates have taken on quite an antagonistic and hostile flavour. We would like to address some of their fears in the hope of fostering greater coöperation as we all continue to work towards the same objective.
Yesterday the administrators of Yes Shetland felt it necessary to post an update (which has since been removed) on the question of the identity of the Butterfly Rebellion. Their comment, which quoted our call for a boycott, made the accusation that the Butterfly Rebellion was not authentically Scottish, and a number of commenters chimed in by suggesting that we were either MI5 agents provocateurs or a special clean-up detachment of Better Together. Such suspicions are not entirely groundless. Backing up their assertions, Yes Shetland posted the fact that our website (thebutterflyrebellion.org) is hosted in Scottsdale, Arizona. We are now forced to come clean. It is time for some openness and honesty. Our website is hosted in the United States. It is interesting to note that Wings Over Scotland is hosted from London, the National Collective is hosted from New Jersey, and Bella Caledonia from Atlanta, Georgia. We are faced with one of two possibilities here. Either the eagle-eyed administrators of Yes Shetland on Facebook have uncovered an MI5/Better Together plot of monumental proportions or they have stumbled upon one of the wonders of the internet – that on the worldwide web hosting and domain registration say nothing at all about where the owners of pages actually reside.
Concerns were also raised about persons being banned from our own social media pages and comments being removed. The Butterfly Rebellion makes a policy of banning no one or removing comments, to which the frequent criticism on the page bears witness, except for reasons of insufferable and continuous trolling and profanity. To date three users have been banned from our Facebook page, and, in accordance with Facebook’s own guidelines, we will continue to reserve the right to ban persistent trolls. Others have been deeply concerned that the Butterfly Rebellion came to the independence referendum campaign late. Indeed it did. The Butterfly Rebellion was set up in response to the defeat of the Yes campaign on the morning of Saturday 20 September – a full thirty hours after the referendum campaign ended. As we have said from the very beginning of our campaign, we consider ourselves to be part of “The next phase in Scotland’s campaign for independence.” Each person involved in the establishment of the Butterfly Rebellion had been a member of a pre-existing pro-independence campaign. It was simply realised that the referendum campaign had come to an end and another avenue was required.
So many have called “Alarm” at the fact that many of the moderators of the Butterfly Rebellion have decided to keep their personal identities from the public, and as a collective of likeminded people this wish has been respected. As the conversations on Yes Shetland unfolded many of the Butterfly Rebellion moderators and administratorscame out of the shadows and commented in the discussion from their own personal accounts. Anonymity has always been used as a useful tool in radical political causes. It is a tool that we intend to continue to employ, but it is not a requirement that individual administrators and moderators remain anonymous. Our struggle is not against the government or the people of Scotland. It is against the establishment and authorities of Westminster and the British state. Many in the Butterfly Rebellion feel that these powerful forces, who have told calculated lies in order to invade other nations, and have not baulked at political and character assassinations to achieve their goals, are not to be trusted. We do not trust them, and we have never trusted them. It is for this reason that the people within the Butterfly Rebellion have the freedom to work anonymously. We understand that this causes some people to worry, and we regret this.
We hope that over the next number of days and weeks we can work towards healing the ill feeling that Yes Shetland has felt the need to share. Perhaps this sheds some light on deeper rifts within the wider Scottish independence movement in the aftermath of the referendum defeat. We hope not, but if so, we hope to be part of the mending of that rift. The Butterfly Rebellion has one political goal – the full independence of Scotland. We are happy to work with anyone who shares this objective, and we will continue to support their efforts and campaigns. Further division, or a continuation of this division, will do nothing for the cause we share in common. Over the course of the evening we have reached out to Yes Shetland and have been given no response. So we appeal to them again, in the hope that we can work together for Scotland, that we can put all of this behind us and continue what we have all started. Again, we appreciate all that they have done, and we hope that they can find a way to move forward rather than find fault with those who are their comrades.
– Butterfly Rebellion