Activists fighting for Welsh language rights have set up a symbolic Occupy camp outside the Senedd, the offices of the national assembly or Cynulliad in Cardiff. Wales Online reports that the young people are:
“…insisting that the Government change six language policies including Welsh-medium education for all.
The action by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg is part of a series of protests the language campaigners have organised over the spring, in order to press the Welsh Government to address the drop in the number of Welsh speakers.
In May, three Welsh language campaigners were arrested in Aberystwyth after vandalising the town’s Welsh government offices.
Robin Farrar, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, said: “I’m delighted to be here today – we want to live in Welsh and to see action to deliver that vision.
“For eighteen months, we have been letter writing and holding meetings with all political parties.
“By protesting here, we continue to hope we see positive changes: with political will the language can thrive over the years to come.”
In October 2013, the conclusions of the Cynhadledd Fawr – the Welsh Government’s consultation on the state of the language following the Census results – were published.
Among the main recommendations were the need to increase financial investment in the language; radical changes to the teaching of Welsh as a second language; and changes to planning law.
The following month, the First Minister announced he would be launching a campaign to encourage people to use Welsh five times a day.”
Meanwhile in Edinburgh the governing SNP has launched its draft constitution for an independent Scotland. From the Guardian newspaper:
“The constitution commits the country to enshrine the European convention on human rights in law, tackle climate change and ensure the safe, “expeditious” removal of Trident nuclear weapons.
It would be the first written constitution for any part of the UK. Its opening line is: “In Scotland, the people are sovereign.”
The constitution, released on Monday for consultation in a draft independence bill, is designed to be a temporary “skeleton” version that would come into force if Scotland becomes independent in March 2016.
It confirms that the saltire will continue to serve as the national flag of Scotland and that the choice of national anthem will be made by the Scottish parliament.
The consultation will close a month after the independence referendum on 18 September, only being brought forward to the Scottish parliament if there is a yes vote.
Sturgeon said the document was an essential part of the Scottish government’s blueprint for independence and would be the first written constitution for any part of the UK. Britain, unlike other comparable countries, has no codified political system.
She said the outline constitution would be a short-term measure, and would be replaced by a full, permanent constitution written by an independent constitutional convention in the years following the first elections in 2016 of the independent Scottish parliament.
…with opinion polls suggesting the race is now tightening, the yes campaign is now driving hard to win centre-left votes and believes a promised constitution could influence wavering voters.”
The full text is available here as the Scottish Independence Bill (PDF document).
Far away from the Celtic Isles a group of Native Australians are standing up for their rights in Sydney by erecting a “tent embassy” in the heart of Australia’s largest city to press their demands for equality and justice. Beir bua, a chairde!