Wales: three arrested in language demo

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Jan 29 14:47:40 UTC 2007

Language demo: 3 arrestedJan 28 2007
Matt Withers, Wales on Sunday

THREE members of Welsh language pressure group Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg
were arrested yesterday at a supermarket sit-in protesting at its
English-only signs. Some 250 demonstrators blocked the entrance of
Morrison's in Bangor, preventing shoppers from getting in or out. Three
were held for putting up posters on the store windows. The group held
talks with the supermarket giant last year over the introduction of
bilingual signs but say Morrison's have yet to budge.

Dewi Snelson, Cymdeithas' organiser in North Wales, said: "In November I
was involved in discussions with Morrison's at their headquarters in
Bradford. It seemed then that they were intent on adopting a language
policy for Wales. But as yet nothing has happened." The group's protest
began at 2pm in the centre of the city before they marched on the
supermarket and staged their sit-in at the entrance. It lasted around 45
minutes before police started moving them to one side. Gwenno Teifi, 19, a
granddaughter of ex-Plaid Cymru president Gwynfor Evans, was arrested
along with Stuart Edwards and Bethan Williams for placing posters on the
shop windows.

Cymdeithas chairman Steffan Cravos, who led the demonstration, said: "The
fact that Morrison's have failed to keep their word is proof enough of the
need for a New Welsh Language Act." Morrison's was unavailable to comment


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