Thursday, 3 December 2009

"Kial mi estas en ĉelo?"

…de la Western Mail:

…For those who denounce my crime, they should remember that almost a century ago a group of ordinary people came together to protest in a similar way. They used tactics like hunger-strikes, window-smashing and demonstrations. One woman died throwing herself under the King’s horse. They broke the law because women didn’t have the vote. Without the non-violent, direct action of the Suffragettes, women would not have had the right to vote in 1918.

I believe that everyone in Wales should have the right to see, hear and use the Welsh language – I want it to live and thrive. It’s a view shared by the vast majority of the public; a view summed up well in a recent Western Mail editorial: “We are blessed that Welsh is not the language only of academics and folk enthusiasts, but is shouted by sportsmen and whispered by lovers.”

Yes, there is a genuine love of the language. It can be seen everywhere around us, from the large numbers of people learning to the singing at rugby matches. So, shouldn’t everyone have the right to use it in their everyday lives? Isn’t that something everyone is working towards?

Unfortunately not. We have a system of law that takes the opposite view: it chooses profit over the Welsh language’s future.

The world’s most profitable companies can open a shop in the middle of a predominantly Welsh- speaking community and refuse to provide basic bilingual services. And despite our campaigns, these corporations continue to ignore not just the rights of Welsh speakers but also the vast majority of the public, 80% of whom want bilingual signage and marketing along with training for people to speak Welsh.

But still, I am the one in the dock, I am the one in prison, I sit in the cell – not the chief executives of the supermarkets, banks or major retailers….

..Osian Jones,
..Rhif / No. DX8265,
..HM Prison Altcourse,
..Lerpwl, L97 LH
..Lloegr (UK)

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