At the beginning of October 10,000 people marched in central Cardiff calling for Welsh independence. Marches like the one on 1 October are becoming a more frequent occasion. An increase in support for an independent Wales went alongside the UK’s final exit from the European Union.
Wales’s independence movement
In 2019, the year running up to 2020’s Brexit, people held at least three mass marches for Welsh independence. Over 5,000 people marched for independence through Merthyr Tydfil. In 2019, a majority of councillors in Gwynedd County Council in North Wales voted in support of independence. During the same year a YouGov survey of over a thousand people showed that 21% of respondents would support Welsh independence if there was a referendum.
"The Tory government has left working people like us behind. Towns across Wales have been left to rot. People are growing up without hope."https://t.co/CwAAKTiwBT
— voice.wales (@voice_wales) October 6, 2022
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— YesCymru 🏴 (@YesCymru) October 2, 2022
Talat explained that Melin Drafod’s priority was preparing the way for a “progressive independence”. He said:
A danger of “creating a smaller version of the British state”
the debate has moved on a lot in the last two decades from where we were 20 years ago. It’s gone in the right direction. I’m hearing lots of optimism and excitement… for the kind of Wales that we can create... It’s all possible, and it’s all within our hands, and it’s only us that are going to create that Wales that we’re talking about tonight. But there are no guarantees… It doesn’t mean if we get independence that all our problems will be magicked away.
something that we all want. It’s something tangible and it’s doable, but it’s not going to just happen automatically. And I think there’s a danger of creating just a smaller version of the British state… and what would be the point of that? We have to build something that enables people to be better off than they are now. We have to build something that enables people’s lives to be tangibly improved. Otherwise, we’re wasting our time. So I think we have to think very carefully about the kind of independence movement we are, and the kind of Wales that we want to build. I don’t think we can divorce ourselves from other struggles like the climate crisis, and the cost of living crisis.
“An alternative economic system to capitalism“
for an alternative economic system to capitalism, so that we could put the control in the hands of the workers or the owners of energy and food production in Wales so that it would stay in those communities… At the time, lots of factories were closing down and relocating to Asia and Eastern Europe. If we had worker-owned cooperatives creating renewable energy, feeding the benefits back into local communities, that would create a whole system that could potentially provide an economic base, as well as a response to the climate crisis.
“Culture, history and language are being destroyed”
Underground and above-ground resources are being plundered. Welsh culture, history and language are being destroyed. Colonial nations put their own culture, history and language in [its] place. We want to develop our culture, history, language, freely.
have to unite in our common interests. We are fighting for our right to live, to exist. We will not vanish without fight.
The need to create something different
Now is the time for radical ideas to blossom within the independence struggle. If the Welsh independence movement – and other similar ones – are going to move us toward real freedom, then ideas and visions are of paramount importance. We don’t need movements which are going to recreate the inequality and oppression of the British state. To be truly liberatory, these movements need to decolonise themselves. They need to create an economy that is based on co-operation not capitalism.
Ultimately they must critique the concept of the state itself, and its repressive institutions. Otherwise Welsh people’s dreams of independence may become just another form of domination by a new parliament and a new political class.Support us and go ad-free
- Check out Melin Drafod’s website
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