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Opinion

More than 10000 marched in Bangor with joy, hope and the desire for a better, brighter future, for themselves and for others

24 Sep 2023 5 minute read
The Bangor March for Independence

Gwern Gwynfil, CEO YesCymru

An interesting day of contrasts. In Bangor over 10000 marched with joy, hope and the desire for a better, brighter future, for themselves and for others. The crowd, yearning for an independent future for Wales, was incredibly diverse with representation from every part of Wales – in every sense.

There were whole families there spanning generations. There were people from every corner of Wales and even further afield. There were those born in Wales and large numbers of relatively new arrivals. The latter have moved here and seen how unfairly Wales is treated within this Union. Justice alone has brought them to believe in an indy Wales.

Meanwhile, in Cardiff, fewer than 200 marched to protest at the changes to default laws on speed in built up areas. They were angry, annoyed that their lives had been marginally impacted, many of them have misunderstood the nature, impact and purpose of the change. Far from thinking of a brighter, better future they were thinking only of the short term minor inconvenience this may cause for themselves.

Selfish, insular, hopeless. So beaten down by the appalling state of the Union, where little, if anything, works well or efficiently, that they cannot look up and out towards the future and see there is a brighter, better way. Not just for themselves and their families and friends but for a whole nation.

That future is not some distant dream either. It is very real and very close. Across Europe there are small nations showing Wales how it’s done, from Latvia, to Croatia, to Slovenia, from Estonia to Denmark – even just across the Celtic Sea in Ireland. The hope and optimism of Bangor is no fever dream but a recognition of the realities of the 21st century. Our world has become a wonderful place for small, vibrant, innovative nations.

Why Wait?

Welsh polling has shown consistent growth in the realisation that there is a better way for the country, that taking charge of our own destiny gives us the agency to change and improve lives, to create a Welsh Way of doing things. Fresh, new, innovative, problem solving – confident, brave and ambitious, with the firm intent of making our world a better place and leaving our world a better place for future generations.

Most recently that polling has been consistently in the mid to high 30’s. This is one in three in Wales in favour of independence, up from one in ten just a decade ago. A trend which comfortably puts us on two in three in favour within another decade.

Some data also suggests that there are a further one in four in Wales already supportive of independence but only if Scotland becomes independent.

Why Wait?

But why wait? Why do we in Wales have to seek Scottish consent to support our own independence? Are we so downtrodden that we need a guide to point us in the direction we know we should be going? If you are one of the quarter of the population who would reassess support for independence if Scotland leaves, reassess it now – what Scotland does should not impact your decisions about your future and your nation. Why wait? The UK is diminishing rapidly, it offers Wales nothing.

The longer we stay attached to our far larger neighbour, the more we lose to them. The more rents they collect from us, the more assets and resources they suck out of us, the longer we have to labour under their systems, taxes and laws which were simply not designed for an economy or country the size and shape of Wales.

Marchers in Bangor

Some of you are now saying to yourselves – this is a social union, this is our insurance policy, we can work to make it better, incrementally improving devolution and self government, campaigning for federalism, confederalism, radical federalism.

Wonderful aspirations. Totally unrealistic. Surveys and polling of the majority in England, the 55 million, show categorically that none of this will fly. They are not interested because theirs is a nation, a country, a single unit. One day they too will realise that independence is the way forward, a pathway to renewal and rebirth for England too. They need it as much as we do after all.

Why Wait?

The longer we wait the worse we are allowing things to become for the people of Wales. For over 50 years we’ve tolerated being the poorest part of the UK. For over fifty years we’ve tolerated the highest rates of child poverty in the UK. For over fifty years we have tolerated being unfairly treated in a Union which at least gave us the vague comfort that standards of living were rising.

Today, living standards are in decline, quality of life is in free fall, Wales is getting poorer, faster than any other part of the UK. There are more children than ever in relative and absolute poverty in Wales.

But we have good infrastructure, we have excellent schools, universities and colleges, we have a skilled and well educated workforce, we have natural resources, we have a stunning country, diverse and beautiful, we have a majestic coastline and much more.

Why Wait?

In short, here in Wales we have all the ingredients for an incredibly successful, wealthy, healthy and vibrant nation. We can’t and won’t be able to capitalise on this until we have the freedom to do so. That freedom only comes with independence.

Over 10000 people in Bangor marched with joy and happiness because they know this. It is a knowledge that can only grow and spread throughout Wales and it is inevitable that we will reach a tipping point and a majority for independence.

So I ask you again – Why Wait?


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Rob
Rob
8 months ago

Would have loved to have been there.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
8 months ago

Its the younger generation will decide to get the hell out of the disunited kingdom they can see what the people of my generation cannot and i am in my 70,s i only wish i could live long enough to see CYMRU FREE INDEPENDENT COUNTRY

stuart stanton
stuart stanton
8 months ago

The late, and truly great philosopher, novelist, proud Czech national Milan Kundera sums it up,,,,’the maximum diversity in the minimal area’. Wales position of strength in the world order no less

Silenced!
Silenced!
8 months ago

You’ll forgive me for asking this I hope, but you mentioned diversity on this march. What diversity? I scrutinised the photos and I saw precious little diversity other than by sex (I know using the word gender upsets some) and by age. I know what happens to those who don’t speak in the glowingest of terms about YC on here. But it really does seem to have a diversity problem still. And this is not all down to this March being in the lightly inhabited North. It was the same when they were held in the South. I fear YC… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Silenced!
Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
8 months ago
Reply to  Silenced!

Does it not occur to you that those who attended the march did so by choice?
Yes Cymru invites everyone in Wales and if those who are in some way “diverse” choose not to take part, they are free to do so and that is a matter for them, not YC.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
8 months ago
Reply to  Silenced!

Did you not read the author’s statement that there were a lot of English settlers on the march?

Alun Gerrard
Alun Gerrard
8 months ago

Over 10,000 attended…I heard it was 500. Someone mentioned that the Gwynedd Council had supported the event. If so why is the council using tax payers money to support this cause? I hope that Bangor High Street had a cash injection from the people that visited. They should come more often…a lot more often. Bangor High Street is sinking financially…independence would finish it off.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
8 months ago
Reply to  Alun Gerrard

Perhaps you can explain how independence will “finish off” Bangor High street?
Presumably a cost of living crisis, high energy prices and high interest rates – all as a result of incompetent Westminster government – has nothing to do with the problems of Wales’High Streets?
There is probably a Specsavers in your high street. May I suggest you visit, the march photos show just a few more than 500….

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
8 months ago

I’m afraid I would find ‘joy and happiness’ in short supply in any independent Wales run by the equivalent of a parochial schoolteacher. Welshness is an important part of my identity but I would not wish to be trapped in it entirely and I would especially not relish the prospect of an eternity of undiluted Green Socialism under Mr Drakeford or his fellow-travelling inheritors.  

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
8 months ago

Wow, Ten thousand people attended the rally ! For every person that came and participated there up to 100 people that supported the cause but had prior commitments and missed it. We are on our way to building a new nation in Europe. We must prepare for independence. That will mean plans of a Welsh central bank and currency, a tax revenue office, an internal affairs office including a law and justice department, an international affairs office including a passport issuing authority. We also need an agreement for those that have paid national insurance into the UK schemes to enable… Read more »

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