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Teenage son of Labour councillor dubbed ‘Hitler youth’ for attending independence march

23 May 2023 4 minute read
Cllr Rachel Garrick received abuse on social media after she posted a video of her teenage son at the YesCymru march

Emily Price

A Labour councillor has been the subject of vile online abuse from social media trolls after she posted a video of her teenage son singing along to Yma O Hyd at a YesCymru March for Independence.

Caldicot Castle County Councillor, Rachel Catherine Garrick posted the video of her 13 year old son wearing a bucket hat and Welsh flag whilst taking part in the Swansea Indy march on Saturday which attracted over 6,000 people.

Cllr Garrick described the reaction to the video from Twitter trolls as “foul” after her young son was branded “Hitler youth” and her decision to bring him along to the march “child abuse”.

Culture

The Labour council cabinet member said: “My son turned thirteen on Friday. I have three boys and we do talk about politics and current affairs in our home. My older sons have some lovely feedback from their history teacher as a result, they have a good knowledge and interest in politics and history.

“I think it’s notable that one of my boys came out of choice. He’s interested in Welsh culture and politics and the All Under One Banner march was a good opportunity for him to absorb a key part of Welsh history, particularly around the growing Independence Movement.

“It was also an opportunity for him to see his mum speak at the march. My other sons weren’t as interested.”

Although there was plenty of support for teenager’s eagerness to be involved in the YesCymru march, Twitter trolls also flocked to the comment section to condemn Cllr Garrick for allowing him to attend.

One social media user said: “Imagine having a Nationalist as a father, the poor boy will know nothing but lies, hatred and misery.”

Another posted an image of Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein kissing a crying child alongside the caption: “Politicians using children as props, even their own, is always creepy.”

One Twitter user posted an image of Saddam Hussein kissing a crying child

“Gross”

Cllr Garrick said she noted many of the “gross” responses she received were from “non Welsh responders” who criticised her intelligence and parenting.

She added: “I took what I thought was a lovely short video of my son at his first ever march as a young teenager. He was absorbing the moment, singing along to Yma O Hyd with the rest of the march arriving behind him.

“It was just a lovely moment of positivity and something he will always remember. I thought it would be nice to share the moment on Twitter as I thought it was a lovely video and it was part of the many positive images that came out of the march.

“It attracted a lot of positive responses and ‘likes’. I would like to shout out to the lovely lady who sent me a voice message who had also been at the march and just wanted to send support.

“Unfortunately, the post did attract some gross responses from people and there was no interest in discussion on political views, just a determination to abuse and insult.”

The Labour councillor said one commentator said her son should be taught British culture rather than Welsh culture.

Cllr Garrick said she has been subjected to negativity on Twitter before and social media should be a space for “reasonable debate” when it comes to discussing Welsh independence.

She said: “We have a huge debate to have in Wales. As I said at the march on Saturday, polls show that the biggest number of voters supporting independence in Wales are currently Labour voters.

“As a growing movement, independence is something that Wales will need to debate nationally, and I think, internally in Welsh Labour. That debate needs to be reasoned and respectful. Throwing insults at videos of 13 year olds isn’t the way to represent your opinion.”

A YesCymru spokespersons said: “YesCymru is shocked and appalled by the vile online abuse aimed at Cllr Rachel Garrick and her family, following Saturday’s march for independence in Swansea.

“Opposition and debate are to be expected in politics, however this level of abuse is something that nobody should tolerate. We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, those who have sent hateful comments.

“We send Rachel solidarity and our full support at this time.”


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Gareth Cemlyn Jones
Gareth Cemlyn Jones
9 months ago

So someone suggests learning about British culture!
By all means learn about the history of the governance of the ‘Empire’ and the disgraceful way liberal imperialism was used to handle the Africans, Indians, Irish, Arabs and many other races in imposing ‘English’ values on these ‘heathen and backward’ races. I think Wales can teach our neighbours a lot about fair play and treating other human beings in a civilised way!

Riki
Riki
9 months ago

Yep, Your a N*zi for loving your country and wanting what’s best for its people. This notion that nationalist automatically means Hatred of others is absurd. They will be using WW2 as stick to beat people over the head with forever.

Frank
Frank
9 months ago

The ones who make comments like “Hitler Youth” should have lived through the reign of Hitler and the atrocities he and his bunch of henchmen inflicted on innocent people and then they could compare the difference between that and a peaceful independence march whose objective is to achieve the best for Cymru and the Cymry.

Llyn
Llyn
9 months ago

The irony of this type of lazy vitriol is that the far-right and Nazis in Wales have always been against Welsh independence, Welsh devolution and the Welsh language. The BNP, NF, UKIP, Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party all against devolution and all fellow travellers on the far-right. But as the saying goes there are none so blind as those who will not see.

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
9 months ago

Nil illegitimi carborundum !

Rob
Rob
9 months ago

Quote: “The Labour councillor said one commentator said her son should be taught British culture rather than Welsh culture.” So British nationalism good, Welsh nationalism bad? Where is the logic in that? Anyone supporting whats best for their country is a Nazi now are they? I want Wales to be able to make its own decisions, that means I’m a member of the Hitler Youth? This is the worst case of Godwins Law imaginable and is an insult to the people who fought and died under the Nazis. Furthermore people who support YesCymru tend to be centre-left, or left wing.… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Rob
Riki
Riki
9 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Hahahaha, that’s hilarious because British is Welsh. The English on the whole have only used the term British since William of Orange. Even Tolkien went into detail on this matter in one of his lectures at Oxford. Claiming British and Welsh are different and British equals English is nothing but cultural fraud. British nationalism in reality is English nationalism. They use British as a cloak to hide behind…and in the hope we forget these facts.

Last edited 9 months ago by Riki
Julie Jones
Julie Jones
9 months ago

Just laugh at them Rachel.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
9 months ago

So marching in support of Welsh independence is regarded in the same breath as the those in the Hitler youth who in the late 30s were brainwashed by the Nazi party with many became boy soldiers only to die horrible deaths. Not very bright these Unionists. And those online trolls attacking that Labour councillor’ son for attending the independence march conveniently forget most who supported Brexit followed word for word Ukio and racist Katy Hopkins who I might add referred to fleeing Syrian migrants , and I quote her verbatim , “cockroaches”, a term used by the Nazis about the… Read more »

Riki
Riki
9 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

All valid points I agree with, except when you use “British”. It’s the Anglo who created and then carried out the policies that did the damage to these nations. British is not a valid name to use when only referring to England.

Windy
Windy
9 months ago

Yet another act by the Tory dirty tricks department
If it had been a march by the countryside alliance it would have been applauded

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
9 months ago

Labelling Welsh independence supporters as ‘racist’, ‘xenophobic’, or ‘Nazi’ has now become a familiar ploy on right-wing unionist social media. These terms are also wheeled in for the comments section of reports on Wales’s response to the second home problem. The irony has thus far eluded them.

Last edited 9 months ago by Wrexhamian

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