YesCymru committee nominee promises to be ‘voice of minorities’ if elected
A nominee for the YesCymru Central Committee has promised to be the “voice” of “minorities” if elected.
Niki Jones, a counsellor who works with survivors of abusive relationships, says she wants to “pave a way forward into an independent Cymru that is diverse, inclusive and feels safe for everyone”, following her nomination
The activist, who lives in Gwynedd, and made Wales her home after moving from Delhi, has stood for the post of non-portfolio position for the grassroots pro-independence group.
She has previously argued in an article on Nation.Cymru, that the Welsh actor Michael Sheen was right to draw parallels between the union and an abusive relationship.
The committee election comes at a time when YesCymru has expanded to over 18,000 members and one recent opinion poll put support for independence at an all time high of 39%.
In a statement following her nomination, she said: “As a nation, Cymru is diversifying by leaps and bounds. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the huge kaleidoscope of cultures that exist within Cymru.
“In our bid for independence, we need to address the place of and space for these diverse communities. So, we can truly become one nation. We need to become more tolerant of difference.
“My aim if I am elected on the Central Committee is to ensure that we can give a voice to the very often unheard cultural minorities. To be able to celebrate what a beautifully diverse nation can achieve and how valuable diversity truly is.
“This will not be achieved by shifting the balance of power from one extreme to the other. But by ensuring equality. Indy Wales impacts every single person that lives in Cymru regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, disability etc.
“My hope and aim if elected on the YesCymru Central Committee is to bring communities together so we can together pave a way forward into an independent Cymru that is diverse, inclusive and feels safe for everyone regardless of their difference, through valuable and constructive conversations about our collective future. One where everyone has a voice.”
In her article on Nation.Cymru, she said: “A healthy relationship is a mutually respectful partnership. It is not a sign of a healthy or respectful relationship if people are told they are too stupid to look after themselves and will amount to nothing without their partner.
“The Welsh people have had centuries of xenophobic remarks peddled at them, such as ‘sheep shaggers’ and ’taffs’.
“If we heard that a victim stood up to their abuser, we applaud them and call them survivors. When Welsh people stand up for themselves against abusive comments or actions, they’re called ‘toxic Welsh nationalists’, ‘xenophobic’ and even ‘racist’. “One of the first parts that is systematically broken down in an abusive relationship is the person’s ability to self-determine.
“In effect, they believe that they can never leave. Once the person firmly believes that, they become more compliant because they are at the complete mercy of their abuser.
“Wales’ relationship with the union does not reflect the dynamic of a healthy relationship of equals that mutually respect each other. We can’t resolve a problem until we know what the problem is. Then we can discuss resolutions.
“I can understand that people who’ve had abuse may feel triggered by the very mention of abuse. That is true of all social evils. If we don’t talk about them, what chance do we have to address them?
“I would just like to add that I have tried my best to ensure that any survivors of any form of psychological or physical abuse aren’t left feeling hurt about anything I said. However, if you do feel triggered by anything in this article (and it’s completely understandable if you do), please don’t hesitate to reach out.”