Saturday, 18 December 2010

Breizh Leaks - France created itself by destroying five cultures

The below is taken form WikiLeaks and details a cable sent by US Ambassador Craig R. Stapleton following a meeting with former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard.

2. (C) Rocard, like former president Valery Giscard d'Estaing (reftel), believes that French history provides the keys for understanding French politics and France's policies. Rocard's point of departure is France's emergence as a nation-state. The history of other European nation-states is that of linguistic communities serving their trade needs. France created itself by destroying five cultures -- Breton, Occitan, Alsatian, Corsican, and Flemish. "We are the only European nation which is the military creation of a non-homogeneous State. This makes France difficult to govern to this day. This explains our difficulty in reforming, our slowness," he [MR] said.

Like most things with wikileaks there is no great surprise but the simple fact to have it acknowledged in black and white has a profound effect nonetheless. The rest of the cable make for interesting reading. Now has anything been leaked about inconvenient Duchies and unresolved territorial claims?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Bretons fight to save language from extinction - CNN.com

Bretons fight to save language from extinction - CNN.com

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Another Breton party to add to the list

As promised the Marie of Carhaix Christian Troadec has launched his new party Mouvement Bretagne Progrés.

Their current mission statement is to defend and promote the political, social and cultural interests of the whole of Brittany and its population.

From what I can gather so far we can consider Troadec and his new party to form a kind of populist Breton left. Good luck to them and with solidarity from Kernow.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Direct action at the Post Office

The general secretary (GS) of the Celtic League has written to the mayor of a Breton town, asking him to give his support to efforts in persuading the post office in the town to use the Breton language in its working practice.

The letter from the gs follows a protest earlier this month from a group of Breton language activists [Ai'ta!] who staged a sit in at Landerne/Landerneau post office. In his letter, the GS says that it is common practice for post offices to use the Welsh language and requests that the Mayor supports this initiative too. In addition, the GS copied the letter to the regional councillor for his support. The English and French language versions of the letter can be found
below.

`Dear Patrick Leclerc

Use of brezhoneg in post offices

I am writing to you following a protest in the Landerne/Landerneau post office earlier this month.

The peaceful protest involved a number of activists lying down on the post office floor in an attempt to pressure the post office system in Brittany to use the Breton language in their business. As you will be aware, the post office director took exception to the protesters and called the police. However, the point that the protesters were highlighting was perfectly feasible. In an area of Brittany where there are a large number of Breton speakers, like Landerne/Landerneau, it is only natural that a public service like the post office, makes some attempt to incorporate Breton in their working practice. It is our belief that all post offices in Brittany should also do the same.

In post offices in Wales it is a common practice for post offices to use the welsh language, even in area where the Welsh language isn't particularly strong. This encourages a heightened awareness of the language among the public and is a relatively easy and cheap way for the post office to demonstrate their commitment to cultural and linguistic diversity.

I am aware that Landerne/Landerneau already has many bilingual public signs - the Celtic League held an agm in the town in 2006 and was impressed by the bilingual signs in the train station - and that the municipality launched a linguistic plan through Yar d'ar brezhoneg in 2004. However, even though we are respectful of the efforts the municipality have made to date to make Breton more visible in the public sphere, the Celtic league believes that there is always room for improvement. For this reason we have also copied the regional councillor in on this letter, with the hope that he takes this matter up further.

I hope that you take our observations and comments into consideration and request that opportunities to use the Breton language be made more readily available for the general public in the future.

Je vous écris à la suite de la manifestation qui prit place dans les locaux de la Poste de Landerne/Landerneau au début de ce mois.

La manifestation non-violente impliquait un nombre d'activistes étendus sur le sol de la Poste de Landerne/ Landerneau afin d'obliger La Poste en Bretagne à utiliser le breton d'une manière plus systématique. Comme vous le savez déjà sans doute, le Directeur de la Poste de Landerne/Landerneau désapprouva l'action des manifestants et fit intervenir les forces de police. Ce que demandaient les manifestants était pourtant tout à fait raisonnable. Landerne/Landerneau est situé dans une partie de la Bretagne où nombre d'habitants parlent couramment le breton. Il est de ce fait naturel que le service public en général et La Poste en particulier essaient d'introduire la langue bretonne comme outil de travail de façon plus systématique. Nous pensons fermement que tous les locaux de La Poste en Bretagne devraient en faire de même.

Au Pays de Galles, `the Post Office' – l'équivalent gallois de La Poste – utilise le gallois comme outil de travail de façon systématique y compris dans les parties du Pays Galles où la langue galloise n'est parlée que par une poignée de personnes. C'est une façon relativement peu chère et facile pour elle d'encourager la population à prendre conscience de l'existence et de l'utilité de la langue et de montrer son engagement pour la diversité culturelle et linguistique.

Je suis bien conscient que Landerne/Landerneau a déjà beaucoup de panneaux de signalisation bilingues. La Ligue Celte avait d'ailleurs été très impressionnée par la qualité et l'ampleur de la signalisation bilingue de la gare de Landerne lors de sa Réunion Annuelle en 2006 de même que par le plan de développement linguistique Yar d'ar brezhoneg lancé par la municipalité en 2004. Malgré notre respect pour les efforts continus de la municipalité de Landerne/Landerneau de rendre le breton plus visible dans la sphère publique, la Ligue Celte croit fermement à l'importance d'une amélioration consistante et continue. C'est pour cette raison que j'envoie une copie de cette lettre au Conseiller Régional, dans l'espoir qu'il poursuive cette affaire.

J'espère que vous tiendrez compte de nos remarques et commentaires et je vous demande expressément de permettre à la population de Landerne/Landerneau d'utiliser le breton de manière plus systématique à l'avenir.

En attendant une réponse de votre part, veuillez agréer, Monsieur, l'expression de mes sentiments les meilleurs.

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
Secrétaire Général de la Ligue Celte

CC Cc M. Maille Pierre'

This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666
rhisiart.talebot@...
gensec@...

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

17/11/10

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at:

http://celticleague.net
Celtic League News Group.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

France : The Home of Human Rights?

On the 29 of July 2010 the European Commission via letter officially washed its hands of any responsibility towards the linguistic minorities found within the French state.

L'Institute Culturel de Bretagne, Kevre Breizh, Bretagne Reunie and the Collectif Breton pour la Démocratie et les Droits de l'Homme had previously, jointly drafted a complaint to the European Commission concerning the French states treatment of its linguistic minorities and non-respect of various international treaties. Treaties it should be noted that the French states insists must be sigend and ratified by all new members of the European Union.

Essentially the Commission has said that its up to each member state what to do inside their own borders as far as language policy goes. So what exactly is the point of the various charters and conventions designed to protect and promote minority languages and national minorities?

Below is a list human rights agreements unsigned or not ratified by the French state:

The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Article 30 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Additional protocol number 12 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

All of the above if signed and enforced would of course ensure equal treatment for Breton language and culture. The same could be said for the other nations found within the French state. Perhaps now we see why the Parisian French establishment is so hostile to such inconvenient details of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Breton Graffiti

They certainly seem to have a talent for it.

This particular piece of art states - Breton for ever! French never!

A risky venture no doubt, but couldn't Kernow do with some repainting of this calibre.

Educative and non-violent direct action, surely the establishment would prefer that rather than more extreme measure?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Breizhistance by éirígí

Breizhistance: The Struggle for Independence and Socialism in Brittany

From the website of éirígí the Irish socialist republican political party.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Celtic League focus on Breton issues.

The report of the General Secretary (GS) to the Celtic League AGM held in Mannin last weekend (10/11 July) included a resume of developments in Brittany in the past year.

(Reunification campaign) In relation to the reunification campaign Rhisiart Tal-e-bot said that this was continuing but at a slower pace than the previous year.

He said there have been some important initiatives undertaken associated with campaign including the creation of a `Freque Humaine' in the Breton city of Nantes/Naoned, where over 2000 people turned up to make the symbol 44=BZH ahead of the Municipal elections.

Activists have also kept the pressure up on the issue by drawing public attention to reunification through graffiti. In one such instance in April 2010, a youth who had been daubing reunification slogans in the town of Le Mans was arrested by police, detained for several hours and verbally assaulted during that time. The AGM was advised that the Celtic League had registered concerns over this case with the French authorties and the Council of Europe

The Breton Regional Council moved one step closer in June 2010 by introducing a motion regarding the reform of the `territorial collective', which could make it easier for Brittany to join with Loire-Atlantique. There are nevertheless the GS reported still a large number of obstacles to be overcome before reunification becomes a reality.

(Language development) The General Secretary said a new Breton language preschool movement has been set up at the end of last year in Breizh and already has a number of toddler, parent groups and preschools in the west. The organisation is called `Divskouarn' and the person in charge of running it is called Gregor Mazo.

A Programme about the Breton language was shown on Al Jazeera (English). The programme said that in `France' a battle to save a dying language is being carried out. Breton is spoken by about 200,000 people in France. 80-years-ago, it was more than a million. Estelle Youssouffa presented the programme and tried to show that campaigners believe Breton will make a comeback (programme broadcast on 15 May 2010). Watch the programme here.

A sponsored run to raise funds for the Breton language, Redadeg, was held again this year in May. This is the second time that the run has been held and is based on the Basque Korrika. Ar Redadeg is planned to be held every other year and it has been successful in raising significant amounts of money for the Breton language. This year a number of Welsh and Cornsh people took part in the race. The race covers more than 1200 km in six days all over Breizh to promote the Breton language and culture. It was hoped inter Celtic participation would increase next year.

(Bugaled Breizh) The continuing struggle of the families of the crewmen who died on the French fishing vessel was reported to the AGM by both the GS and a delegate from Brittany. The involvement of a naval vessel (submarine) was still a live line of enquiry. The AGM affirmed its commitment to support the campaign.

(Politics) The GS provided a detailed outline of political developments and specifically focused on the Regional elections in March 2010.

(ABP) He concluded his Breton report with an update on our cooperation with the Agence Bretagne Presse news agency and the AGM recorded its thanks to that organisation for its work in publicising news items from the Celtic League and inter-Celtic issues.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

12/07/10

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at:

Celtic League
Celtic League News Group

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Brezhoneg war AlJazeera...



In France a battle to save a dying language is being carried out. Breton is spoken by about 200,000 people in France. 80-years-ago, it was more than a million. Estelle Youssouffa has been to Britanny, where campaigners believe Breton will make a comeback (15 May 2010).

Breton will make a comeback! It'll take all our force and energy but we'll get there. After all in life what is better than to have a good cause to fight for.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Skol an Emsav

Just a bit of quick publicity for Skol An Emsav, and to apologise for not including you in this blogs link lists before.

I took part in one of their two day intensive Breton courses last weekend and I've only got good things to say about them. Based in Rennes SAE organise adult education for those wishing to learn Breton. I'm note sure if they can teach via the media of English but you could always ask, I know some of their trainers are English speakers.

Anyway, excellent course with an excellent trainer, enough said.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Rock e Breizh

Not really politics but who cares?

If you want a starting point to investigate Breton Rock, past and present, then look no further than the new disc Rock e Breizh.

From the classics of Breton rock n'roll to contemporary stuff the CD is avaliable from Coop Breizh.

Artists included are: Georges Jouin, Storlok, Brieg Guerveno Groupe, EV, Dom duff, Daonet, Gimol Dru band, Tri bleiz die, Plantec, Bernez Tangi, Kristen Nikolas club hoggard, Fiskal Bazar, Lik ha lik, Melmor, les Ramoneurs de menhirs, Trouz an noz, Anken, Nolwenn Korbell, Gweltaz Adeux, Denez Abernot

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Redadeg 2010 : Cornwall supports the Breton language



Ar Redadeg is a charity run which circumnavigates the territory of Brittany to raise money for the language. Similar events can be found in Ireland, the Basque Country and Galicia. Why not Cornwall?

At the moment the video above doesn't seem to be working so the permalink can be found here.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Diwan to win.


Keeping in mind the recent creation of Movyans-Skolyow-Meyhtrin the Cornish Nursary Schools Movement, the Diwan Breton language schools have yet again come top in academic classifications in the French state: article here.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

More on the Breton elections : The two faced French Socialists.

A member of the UDB has very kindly provided me with the following points of view on the recent regional elections.


The Breton branch of the French Socialist Party (FSP) had planned, a long time before the 2nd round of the elections, to not cooperate with Europe Ecologie Breizh (EEB). It is suggested that their reason for this is because they couldn't tolerate some elements of the EEB's programme (autonomy for Brittany, fight against the polluting agro business, conversion of economy … etc.).

The Breton FSP didn't want, in its government group, some of the EEB councillors (for example : René Louail a former agricultural trade union leader of the Confédération paysanne, a great and clever opponent of FNSEA (agro-business union) and its polluting productivist system (nitrate run off and seaweed proliferation), or Herri Gourmelen one of the UDB's historic leaders, or Guy Hascoet a former (Green) French government minister from the Lionel Jospin government, who would have provided too much competition for the FSP council president, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

However theses three councillors were elected anyway, so the future debates in the council hall will be very interesting.

As for We Will Make You Brittany (WWMYB) platform and Christian Troadec. Firstly (Sunday evening) he called on his supporters to vote for the FSP, because of its help to constitute the WWMYB list, but he changed this advice after it became clear that EEB would have to run alone for the 2nd round of elections. (nobody could imagine at this time a no-fuse for the 2nd round)

Some words more about WWMYB : it is suggested that the Breton FSP had helped M. Troadec to build up his list to try to push the score of Europe Ecologie Bretagne under 10% by challenging the UDB autonomist support in the EEB block. If in the first round of the election a group receives under 10% of the vote, the electoral law doesn't allow them to compete for the second round. With the same goal in mind the FSP took some “Greens” on to its list inorder to push down the score of the “reel” Greens in EEB list.

Happily these strategies didn't work and the EEB list was able to present for the second round with of course the support from Brezhistance.

After the first round, the expected issue was the two lists merger between the FSP and EEB according to the D'Hondt law as in all other regions of the French state. This method would have given 14 councillors to EEB but the FSP proposed only 10 positions to EEB. A deliberate provocation of EEB. (M. Le Drian said : I have already 4 ecologists on my list, with 10 from your side you could get 14).

Thus, all Monday, after the election, the FSP pretended to negotiate with EEB, but at 8pm the leaflet printers for EEB (the same one as the FSP) called EEB to warn that the FSP had given orders to print its own ballot papers (in Brittany as in the rest of France each party uses its own ballot papers for elections) for the second round, without informing EEB. In other words the FSP in Brittany had already decided to run alone and not fuse with EEB.

You can see a short video (French television F3) which shows theses facts : the journalists were present when the printer called EEB here.

During the week between the two rounds the FSP in Brittany tried to split the alliance UDB-Greens by secretly proposing  a vice-presidency to UDB members, but the UDB refused categorically and warned its Greens allies and press about these tactics..

Friday, 26 March 2010

Regional Election Results.

A quick round-up of the regional electoral results.

Via their electoral alliance, Europe Ecologie Bretagne (EEB), the UDB has won 4 seats on the council of the French administrative region of Brittany. The French Socialist Party (FSP) refused to fuse with EEB to fight the second round of the election -the result being the UDB will not be represented in government- but 4 councillors is still an achievement.

In all other French administrative regions the FSP fused with Europe Ecologie and other leftist parties to great electoral success.

The Socialist Party of Brittany -Brezhistance- lent its support to EEB for both rounds of the election, but they have obtained no councillors.

We will make you Brittany (WWMYB), the electoral platform including the Parti Breton, was knocked out in the first round of the elections with a score of 4.29%. Although low this is still a net progress on previous elections. Regrettably WWMYB was unable (or unwilling) to give clear advice as to who to vote for in the second round of elections with Christian Troadec finally, and after a change of heart, suggesting that he would vote for EEB.

Two federalist parties, L'Alliance Fédéraliste Bretonne and Parti Federaliste de Bretagne, seemed to confirm their status as political nonentities by advising abstention from the elections.

The Breton far-right also abstained from the election.

The new government of Brittany will be formed of French Socialists with their Green and Communist allies. The Breton department of Loire-Atlantic, currently attached to the region Pay-de-le-Loire, also finds itself governed by Socialists, Communists and Greens. No Breton nationalists or autonomists were elected in Loire-Atlantic.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

44 = BZH

The 'Fresque Humaine' was a great success as can be seen from the aerial photo.

2000 citizens turned out to take part and to spell out, with their rain soaked bodies, that department 44, Loire-Atlantic, is part of Brittany.

To give Cornish readers some idea of the situation. Imagine if part of North Cornwall had been hived off administratively and attached to Devonshire (Plymouth). Could we muster as much support to protect Kernow's territorial integrity?

Apart from a minor incident between anti-fascist Breton militants and a handful of neo-nazis from Adsav and Young Brittany, they day was peaceful and productive.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Putting Reunification on the Political Agenda


Two Breton groups are intent on putting the issue of Breton reunification on the political agenda this weekend, by organising a mass demonstration in the city of Naoned/Nantes.

This Saturday (27th February 2010) people are being urged to travel to Nantes from all over Breizh/Brittany to take part in a `Freque Humaine'. Bretagne Réunie and 44=BZH want to show politicians that the issue of Breton reunification should be firmly on the political agenda ahead of next month's regional elections.

The groups says that they are determined to get more political parties coming out in support of Breton reunification as part of their election campaign and want to start a debate on the issue in the run up to elections:

"Concernant les élections régionales, plusieurs partis politiques affichent leur volonté de réunifier la Bretagne mais d'autres restent sans voix devant la volonté populaire.

"Bretagne Réunie et 44=Breizh veulent imposer le débat sur la réunification afin que les candidats se déterminent sur ce dossier."

During the afternoon and evening there will be bands and a DJ and the mood of the day is expected to be festive. A bus will be travelling through Breizh picking people up to take them to the demonstration.
The demonstration comes in the wake of a court case against two well known Breton reunification activists on 1st February in Nantes. The two accused, Alan Haye and Jonathan William, are suspected of public disorder offences after police harassed them and their families while at a cafe in Naoned last year.

According to Reuters news agency 65% of voters in the French regional elections will be voting on local issues and 80% wanted the Paris government to take account of the vote in setting state wide policy.

Link: http://www.bretagne-reunie.org/

This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Issued by the Director of Information
Celtic League
CL News Letter

23/02/10

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Breton in the British media

Learning the real local lingo can be child's play.

An extract:

Naomi Gray is like many British children in that when she gets home from school, she loves to lose herself in a Harry Potter book. What makes her different is that she will have chatted to her school friends in French on the bus home, and have spent her day with them learning her lessons in Breton.

She's the daughter of Jane and Dug Gray, a translator and stone-mason who live in Finistère, the heart of Celtic Brittany. They have opted not to bring up their three children bilingually in French and English, but trilingually, by enrolling them in Brittany's educational system, Diwan, whereby all lessons, bar English and French, are taught in Breton.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Labour Unions for Stateless Nations

Added today is a link to the -Plateforme des Syndicats des Nations sans Etat- an organisation that regroups labour unions from stateless nations around the world.

For example from Brittany we have the Sindikad Labourerien Breizh. I believe a trade union -UNDEB- exists that is closely connected to Plaid Cymru? Is there room for a Cornish labour union to push for the rights of Cornwall's workers along with greater self-determination?

It should be noted that these unions have nothing to do with the ethnically exclusive unions from the far right.
A Cornish trade union should fight for the rights of ALL workers within the territory of the Duchy without exception.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Aberfest 2010

Breton and Cornish exchanges of all sorts need to be promoted the above being just one example.

The website for the festival is here: Aberfest.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Breizhistance rallies to Europe Ecologie Bretagne

Breton unity grows!

As an update to this post on the forthcoming French state regional elections, Breizhistance -the Socialist Party of Brittany- has announced that it will be adding its support to Europe Ecologie Bretagne (EEB).

This will see Breizhistance campaigning alongside the UDB, Greens and various other personalities from the Breton and French left.

Two Brezhistance members, Morgane Cotten and Lionel Henry, will be presented on the electoral list of EEB.

DotBZH

The campaign for a BZH (Breizh) top level domain name has moved to a new website which can be visted here: PointBZH.

Lets hope the DotKER campaign gets on the move again soon too.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Brittany United!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Alliances for the regional election 2010



So far the following alliances have been formed in Brittany for the forthcoming French regional elections.

The UDB will be campaigning alongisde the Greens inside Europe Ecologie Bretagne. This is a subdivision of the  state-wide Europe Ecologie coalition of  Régions et Peuples Solidaires, the French Greens and various other personalities. Europe Ecologie did remarkably well in last years European elections rivalling Frances principle left-wing party. Certainly one to watch.

The Parti Breton has joined the electotal list -Nous te ferons Bretagne- (We'll make Brittany for you). Headed by political personality Christian Troadec, the left-wing mare of Carhaix, the coalition includes the PB as well as independent ecologists and other local personalities.

That leaves Breizhistance and L'Alliance Fédéraliste Bretonne. Previously Emgann (Breizhistance) has allied itself with the trotskyist French far-left, but nothing as of yet has been formalised.

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