A NEW grassroots group spearheaded by All Under One Banner is at the centre of a row after adopting the name of an already existing indy-supporting Gaelic-speaking group.
The new membership organisation formed last month has a working name of Yes Alba.
However, a Yes Alba already exists.
It was created in the run-up to the 2014 independence referendum as a Gaelic-language grassroots group. Their Facebook page has more than 31,000 likes.
The decision sparked anger among Gaelic speakers.
Responding to criticism on social media on Saturday night, AUOB said: “Yes Alba is a perfectly feasible, working name for the new national membership organisation – subject to the decision making of the national committee, which has only just been elected and so hasn’t met yet.”
READ MORE: All Under One Banner accused of ‘cultural imperialism’ in Yes Alba Gaelic name row
The organisation added: “Alba is a name for Scotland. There are great opportunities for the language if the national Yes membership org uses it.
“The defensiveness over the name doesn’t seem respective, as Alba is a Scottish name, and Gaelic a native language of Scotland.
“Do please reflect that Gaelic speakers don’t own Gaelic words. Alba is not owned by anyone. Gaelic is a native language of Scotland, there is not a separate country here.”
In a statement, the original Yes Alba told The National that they were “astounded” by the decision to take their name.
The group said: “Yes Alba provided an unparalleled platform for young Gaels to use their native language in the independence campaign of 2014, using social media and in-person campaigning.
“We are pretty astounded that a Yes organisation seeking to be an umbrella body would co-opt that name and ignore all concerns raised to the contrary.
“There’s an obvious injustice when a majority marches into spaces created by a linguistic minority and helps themselves.
“Yes Alba has consciously maintained its online resources and other infrastructure with a view to relaunching for the next referendum campaign.
“We understand people at the initial meetings of this new body were concerned by the name but this was not recognised and there was no vote on it. Regardless, the simple solution here is for the new body to decide and use their own name – surely an early item of business for any serious organisation.”
An Tuiseal Ginideach said it was “Impiriulachas culturtha” – cultural imperialism.
“This lot stole the name of a Gaidhlig-language pro-independence group, and refuse to give it back. Is this any better than Westminster?”
The plan to set up a new organisation was backed by the majority of the 1200 people who signed up for the AUOB online assembly last month.
Its remit is to give a “voice to the grassroots of the Yes movement.”
READ MORE: Yes Alba: Top indy activists and SNP MP elected to lead new organisation
Earlier this week, 15 people were elected on to the committee, with the plan to launch the group in the new year.
Speaking to The National, Andrew Wilson, from All Under One Banner – who was one of those elected to the new committee – said it was important to realise that “there is at the moment no new national membership organisation.”
“It does not yet exist,” he added, “ It doesn’t have a name. An inaugural national committee has been elected, but that’s it. There’s nothing more than that.”
He added: “People have been suggesting names for the organisation. And I suppose it’s fair to say that some people have used Yes Alba as a shorthand, as a working title for the new organisation, but the organisation doesn’t exist.”
The name Yes Alba was first attached to the new organisation in mid-November, and has been used by AUOB and others in multiple tweets.
Others elected to the committee include SNP MP, and Gaelic speaker, Angus MacNeil.
He said Yes Alba had been off his radar for some years.
“Now their one contribution will be to remove Gaelic from public discourse,” he tweeted.