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About Secure Scotland

Secure Scotland’s conversation includes challenging language and how it informs oppression and violence, and in particular raising the question of how entitlement is justified through ambiguous and inaccurate use of language. Our activities all offer a positive and hopeful chance to really to think about what we say and what we hear. Along with many emerging groups and organisations working hard for the change to a fairer green well-being economy, we will not accept the continuation of practices that embed racist and patriarchal prejudices in everyday life, and instead share practices where all of us can be respected and can contribute and participate in culturally appropriate ways.

Join the Conversation


Five questions:

  1. What does 'security' mean to you?

  2. What do you think are the most important challenges to the security of people in Scotland?

  3. What policies or actions would you prioritise to make you, your family, community or country safer anmore secure?

  4. How do you think Scotland could contribute to peace and security in the world?

  5. Is there a message in the Freedom Come All Ye for Scotland today?


You can join our conversation on stairheids, online and wherever you find yourself thinking about the

Scotland you’d like to live in. This conversation is for grannies and bairns, students and scaffies. Its about what we already do well, and what we need. Share good ideas, old and new, a’thing from street lighting and healthcare to forest schools. What’s the work that needs done and what’s the education we’d like? Can a’ Jock Tamsons bairns get the same chances of beild, babyboxes and clean air? Is Scotland growing good food? What are enough bikes and bus passes, and is first footing still important? What is the security that will keep Scotland safe? We dinnae think its the weapons and warfare that pits us at risk and divides us from the world.

Our Story

After the 2014 independence referendum and the Brexit debate in 2016, it seemed that previous lively

political engagement in Scotland was fading, and the internationalist considerations around peace and

security dropped off the agenda or become mired in militarist definitions and exclusive hierarchies. Before the 2019 pandemic, some of us were inspired by the Rethinking Security network, and how their approach could usefully applied to the special social, demographic and political nature of Scotland.


Initial discussions included colleagues from UN House Scotland, which works with young academics exploring the UN process and we also had links with the Allanton Peace Sanctuary Allanton provided the ideal setting for a three-day retreat, funded through a social change trust, for representatives from a’ the airts to talk about real security issues like food, basic income, human rights, violence reduction, migration, climate justice, militarism and colonial impact.


About twenty of us had gathered and developed some action plans before the pandemic isolated us all! We wanted Scotland’s separate legal, parliamentary, and education system to enable a real debate on the changes that would be more difficult to discuss across the whole of the UK. This debate could highlight the worst effects of militarism, violent masculinities and discrimination, and Scotland’s small size, proportional representation and the accessibility of our parliament would add to the impact this could have.


In such a small country, we felt, we could reach most of the population and model a different approach. We received funding from Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust for a three year programme, but a few months later the pandemic meant that all our plans had to be postponed or changed, and we were grateful to JRCT for their flexiblity which has allowed us to keep going, on line and by zoom until in 2022 we found and set up a public space and administrative centre - which is also home to Peace and Justice Scotland. Words and Actions is an information and event drop-in, an exhibition space and hosts meetings and community activities.


You can get involved in current projects and read about earlier ones on this website’s project page and we welcome enquiries, ideas and contributions. As it turned out, the pandemic illustrated how ill prepared and ineffective so called ‘security measures’ were in a real emergency. It also provided a very concrete example of how folk can co-operate and change and adapt their behaviour very quickly when they are persuaded it is for the common good.

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