‘Common sense has prevailed’ say independence march organisers after Wrexham Council u-turn
The organisers of a march for Welsh independence in Wrexham said that “common sense has prevailed” after the city council u-turned on allowing them to use part of the route.
The march is due to begin at Llwyn Isaf at 12pm this Saturday but Wrexham Council had said that AUOB Cymru could not book the site as it was a political march.
The council have now changed their minds, saying they “recognised the the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly” put forward by the march organisers.
AUOB Cymru had said that they intended to go ahead with the march anyway, having sought assurances from the police that they would not intervene.
But Wrexham Council have now given the event a belated go-ahead.
“We have reviewed the application to use Llwyn Isaf on Saturday 2 July,” the council said. “In line with our policy and usual approach, we would not usually agree the booking of Llwyn Isaf for marches and rallies.
“However, we recognise the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and in the circumstances we will not be taking any action to prevent the use of Llwyn Isaf on Saturday.”
A spokesperson on behalf of AUOBCymru said that they were “disappointed with the council’s initial position that our march for independence in Wrecsam on 2 July should not take place and we’re happy that common sense has prevailed”.
“Until now, we’ve been fortunate to work with really supportive stakeholders in every town that we’ve visited, and we’re glad to say that this is still the case,” they said.
“So many people have put in so much work, and so many more have been looking forward to visiting the north east – it’s great that everyone’s on board and we can now focus on making the AUOB march in Wrecsam the best one yet.”
“Seeing the news yesterday that Westminster is going to unilaterally repeal Welsh law just goes to show how fragile devolution is, and makes clear the need for independence. Get to Wrecsam, if you can, to make your voice heard.”
Wrexham Council had previously told AUOB Cymru that the march should not congregate at Llwyn Isaf.
“Events will not be permitted which in the opinion of the Town Centre Manager promote political parties, groups, organisations or individuals, or which are deemed to be political canvassing,” they said.
“Whilst I appreciate you say in your email it is not party political, a rally to campaign for the national independence of Wales is a political topic,” Wrexham Council said in a message to the organisers.”
But Indy Fest Wrecsam organiser Pol Wong had said that he did not consider the council’s stance to be lawful as it was contrary to a fundamental democratic right to freedom of expression as set out in Human Rights Legislation.
“Previous marches held in three different local authority areas and under two different police forces have gone ahead without incident,” he told Wrexham.com.
“This situation with Wrecsam council really is unprecedented. Previous events held in Cardiff, Caernarfon, and Merthyr have been family friendly days that have attracted thousands from across the country.
“They’re a great boost for the local economy and a chance for people to get together to discuss the exciting options ahead for Wales.”
The March for Independence will see a number of performers take part, including Dafydd Iwan.
Joining Dafydd Iwan will be poet and activist Evrah Rose, comedian and broadcaster Tudur Owen, Wrexham County Councillor Carrie Harper and Archdruid Myrddin ap Dafydd.
An ‘Indy Market’ is also being organised to coincide with the march, with over 20 stalls offering local food, drink and produce, and including Indy Wales merchandise. The market will be at Queen’s Square, Wrexham, from 9.30am to 4pm on Saturday 2 July.
In addition to the march, rally and market, Wrexham will also be hosting some indy gigs at Saith Seren on both Friday and Saturday nights, with Bryn Fôn headlining on the eve of the march.
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