Responding to Yes Shetland

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

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13 thoughts on “Responding to Yes Shetland

    • One with an weapon of war asks a writer to explain himself? I am unknown because I do not wish people with weapons to know who I am. Put down your sword and I will share my pen.

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  1. “Wings Over Scotland is hosted from London” – No, it’s hosted in Canada, via a London management company – but we all know who runs it.

    “National Collective is hosted from New Jersey” – Maybe, but it’s transparently REGISTERED in Edinburgh.

    “and Bella Caledonia from Atlanta, Georgia” – Is likewise registered in the UK (via an Aberdonian).

    Thebutterflyrebellion.org is registered through a “privacy” company in Arizona. Zero transparency, paid for – why?

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    • WoS is hosted in London, with http://www.positive-internet.com

      The domain privacy is via a Canadian company, http://www.contactprivacy.com

      It’s not uncommon for domains to be registered via these companies, or using a registrar’s own whois privacy service because having your own details out there on show is usually a bad idea. At best you’ll get lots of spam (and snail-mail spam in the weeks before your domain’s due to be renewed, from companies who want you to transfer to them), and at worst you’ll get death threats and pick up a stalker.

      Having personal details on show in whois info also gives people more information with which to find out more about you, for use in social engineering hacks.

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  2. What does it matter where it is hosted and what name or face do these people have? They are sharing interesting ideas with us and supporting a cause that’s not only theirs but of many of our country’s residents. I too have no idea who you are but support you 100% in wanting to keep anonymity. I do the same, I have websites and no one knows who I am… It is safer and works very well. No one should expect anyone who tries to expose the elite and fight for our rights, to tell the world who they are, where they live…It’s their right to keep it for themselves. Thank you The Butterfly Rebellion for your efforts. In regards to some Yes groups am starting to think some have been bribed and turned to the other side… behavior by some is starting to be suspicious and unacceptable. Really hope that I am wrong.

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  3. I was very concerned to see the nasty overreaction that Declan Welsh and National Collective got for their article today.

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  4. You do need to establish one single simple goal, no confusion, no complicated and vulnerable strategies, just elect SNP one time, next May, then revert to whatever belief or parties afterwards if you don’t agree with them otherwise. Labour will no doubt try and repackage itself, throw some head people under the bus, blame bad advice, etc. etc. etc. and come up with a new list of bribes or threats. Just stay focused on SNP next May. I can believe YES Shetland worked hard for those 5,000 votes considering the sweetheart deals and bribes offered by London to convince Shetlands to vote NO, and convince them to breakaway from Scotland had YES won. Only Scottish control of Scotland’s resources can prevent my air and water being unfit for my consumption due to fracking activities that will otherwise be prevented. And the world needs freedom almost as much as it needs the air to breathe and safe water to drink, my bet is on Scotland as the nation best suited to make this happen.

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  5. Coming to this late on purpose. Hopefully the situation is resolved. If not, we had similar problems with Occupy Tahrir (Egyptian Revolution) becoming fragmented by agitProp by Egyptian Secret Service/ SCAF. One solution was to set up spokespersons from both sides; face to face using skype. Real vs cybernetic interaction was successful in breaking the anonymous deadlock. So much so that Al Jazeera got wind of it and turned these arguments into a weekly TV series broadcast from a famous Tea House in Cairo and hosted by Ayman Mohyeldin!
    (Alas I can find no link on the InterWebz but it was all good revolutionary stuff!)

    Occupy the Media!

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  6. I think it’s sensible to be wary of “new kids on the block” after such a long and exhausting campaign that tore the souls out of so many people. Some guarantee needs to be given that you are indeed bona fide, and while I support your wish to remain anonymous it would seem to be a good idea for an administrator to verify him/herself with someone who holds a position of trust within the YesAlliance movement. Would that be possible?

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    • That would be very possible indeed. We do not ask that people trust us. We write what we write, and if people find this good, empowering and useful then we have done what we set out to do. A good number of people know already who we are, and friends in Yes Kilmarnock have already said that they personally know who I am. The point is, that it isn’t about me. It shouldn’t be about me. This is about a struggle to win independence for our Scotland.

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  7. Thanks for the reply. 🙂 I agree, this isn’t about personalities. But it IS about trust and authenticity and many of us would like to be assured that TBR are genuine as are Derek Bateman, Wings, Bella, Lesley Riddoch and many others. If it is indeed possible to get a thumbs-up from a trusted source then that would be much appreciated.

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    • When we start flying the Butcher’s Apron then you know we’re not to be trusted. Other than that we will keep doing what we have always done. We will be addressing the demo in Edinburgh on 5 November. You can meet us there.

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