Up to 15,000 people protest in support of Breton language in Brittany
Up to 15,000 people have gathered in Gwengamp, Brittany in a language rights rally held at the same time as a language ‘race’.
The Rouedad Ar Brezhoneg language network and the Ti Ar Vro cultural centre have organised the event, and it was expected that up to 10,000 people would be there.
However, there are reports that the number could be much more and nearer 12-15,000.
It comes after the French Government refused to introduce legislation to ensure Breton be taught in French schools.
1/3 Mae @Cymdeithas yn cydsefyll gyda phobol Llydaw heddiw yn Gwengamp sy'n sefyll yn erbyn penderfyniad Llys Cyfansoddiadol Ffrainc i ddiddymu deddf @Paul_Molac a oedd i warantu hawliau ieithyddol a dynol i bobloedd Ffrainc. Derbyniwyd y ddeddf gan fwyafrif mawr yn @AssembleeNat pic.twitter.com/deh88IwUyd
— Cymdeithas y Byd (@cymdeithasybyd) May 29, 2021
The legislation, proposed by Breton politician Paul Molac, would have placed a linguistic immersion system at the centre of the public education system.
However, the French Constitutional Council has ruled that the proposed scheme is “unconstitutional” – and that is because the language of the French republic is French.
Cultural associations and networks, unions and political parties have called for action to ensure that Breton will also be taught in schools.
Speakers at the rally included a number of pupils from French and Breton secondary schools and a representative of the Popular Education Association, but the organizers stressed that no politician would address the rally.
The Redadeg, or language race, begins at the end of the rally and a message will be transmitted along the town before being opened and read in public offering hope for the future of the language.