Sunday, 30 October 2011

Celtic solidarity against fascism


Some inspirational images from a recent match between Stade Rennais and Celtic in one of the two Breton capitals Rennes (the other being Nantes of course).

Breizh News

Reunification campaign

On 18th June 2011 protesters marched on the Breton city of Naoned/Nantes in a mass demonstration of solidarity in calling for the reunification of Brittany. A number of groups were behind the organisation of the protest, including Naoned e Breizh (Nantes in Brittany), Bretagne Reunie, 44=Breizh, Agence Culturelle Bretonne Morvan Lebesque and Kevre Breizh. However, some campaigners did not think that the reunification campaign is going so well as it may perhaps seem. One activist told the Celtic League that the demo was not successful, because a couple of years previously between 10 000 and 15 000 people had demonstrated in a similar demonstration.

Yann Fouere

One of the Celtic League founding members, Yann Fouéré, has been launching his autobiography internationally this year, firstly in Clifden, Co Galway, Ireland in July and last 12 week in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales. Mr Fouéré, paased away on 21st October 2011 aged 101 years old. 

Bugaled Breizh 

Seven years on and no one has yet been convicted for the sinking of the Breton trawler in waters off the Cornish coast, although suspicions have fallen heavily on the Royal Navy. In August the Bugaled Breizh got into the press again after one of the submarine commanders, who was engaged in war games in the vicinity where the fishing boat sunk, wrote on his twitter account that he was "getting a bit irritated by the continuous press coverage of something I didn't do." 

Elections 

On 20 and 27 March 2011 Cantonal elections to elect half the membership of the general councils took place. The Cantonal elections use a two round system similar to that employed in the legislative elections and take place every 3 years. The March 2011 elections were the first Cantonal elections since 1992 not to be paired with another election, such as the regional elections or the Municipal elections. Cantonal councillors are electors for the senatorial elections and considering that the forces in the senate are, as of March 2011, balanced the results of this election could play a role in the September 2011 senatorial elections. In these elections political agreements were made between some nationalist parties and other parties, which meant that they campaigned alongside each other. These included the UDB campaigning alongside Europe Ecologie les Vertes and Breizhistance with the New Anti Capitalist Party. Parti Breton campaigned in the election its own right. Another new party that ran in these elections was the Mouvement Bretagne et Progres. 

ABP 

This year there has been a reorganisation at ABP and the founder, Philippe Argouarch is taking less of a prominent role, although he is still involved. Agence Bretagne Presse was redesigned and relaunched in October 2011. 

Per Denez 

Celtic League member and Breton language activist, Professor Per Denez, died on 3rd July 2011. 

Emgann visit Ireland 

In May and August 2011 a delegation from the Breton group Emgann visited Ireland on the invitation of Republican Sinn Fein to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of the Hunger Strikers. A commemorative plaque was offered by the Breton delegation, which was led by Reun Diguerher. 

Ferry Link 

A proposed weekly ferry route between Brittany and Cornwall is currently being discussed and a feasibility study into the venture is being carried out. 13 A and P Falmouth, the company which runs the docks in the town, is leading a consortium to run a route between Falmouth and St Malo, but so far no ferry company has shown an interest in taking up the idea. 

Language 

On 7th December 2010 a new language Bill was introduced into the French National Assembly that aims to give greater rights to the languages of the French state, including Breton. The 'Regional' Language Bill (développement des langues et cultures régionales) aims to establish a greater level of linguistic rights for speakers of 'regional' languages and will bring the French state in line with European legal norms. The Bill, if successful, will include a state guarantee for the teaching of Breton to children and could could potentially have a huge impact on the revival of the Breton language, which according to some predictions is losing an estimated 10 000 speakers a year. In November 2010 language activists demanded that more Breton language signs are erected at post offices and a peaceful protest was staged in Landerne/Landerneau. However, the manager of the post office called the police and the activists were arrested." 

For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact: Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League: Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912 M: 0044 (0)7787318666 gensec@celticleague.net. The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query 

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.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Devonwalls friends in Brittany

Néanmoins, les corniques hurlent au massacre culturel quant à une réunion des comtés du Devon et de Cornwall (The new Devonwall !), mais là ils ne comprennent pas encore le potentiel culturel et autonomiste d'une Nation Devonwall, regroupant deux cultures identiques britoniques, avec un Dewnansek (Devon language, très proche du Cornique commun) retrouvé (à l'avenir !).

The translation of which reads: Nevertheless the Cornish hurl cultural massacre with regards a 'reunion' of the counties of Devon and Cornwall (The new Devonwall!), but here they don't understand, yet, the cultural and autonomist potential of a Devonwall nation, regrouping two identical brythonic cultures with Dewnansek (Devon language, very close to common Cornish).

The quote is taken from comments left by Yves Le Gonidec at the bottom of this Agence Bretagne Presse article - Les Britanniques ne veulent plus être britanniques. More alarming perhaps than the comments themselves is the position of influence Yves Le Gonidec has in a Breton university. Of course if I were to point out to Yves that half of Brittany was traditionally Gallo speaking, a latin language, and therefore, following his logic, better linked to latin langue d'oil speaking regions of France rather than the Celtic speaking west of Brittany, I'm sure he would object. Or perhaps if I were to remind him that a very large part of France, and French culture, has Celtic Gaulish roots this being enough of a reason for maintaining Brittany joined to France, run from Paris, again I'm sure he would object once more. He would be right to do so in both instances.

This comes hot on the heals of an article featured in the Celtic Leagues, usually fantastic, Carn magazine written by the Breton Gi Keltik. His artcle Armoric Breizh spectacular contains:

"The links and agreements between Clovis and the Breton-British army helped a lot during this second migration with the aid of King Riwal of Domnonea in 511. As you may know this small kingdom is now “Devon”. At the time this kingdom also controlled the northern part of “Armorica-Breizh” (Leon and Treger). Therefore, this is the first time it is possible and correct to use the word “Breizh”, because these people came from Great Britain"

Not once are Cornwall or the Cornish mentioned in the article! Gi, the Kingdom, and polity, that was Domnonea was pushed back to the now territory of Cornwall which alone to this day has maintained its own sense of national identity. Todays Cornish national identity is the direct descendant of the Kingdom of Domnonea. Devon has merely inherited elements of its name.

Celtic Devon, one face of the Devonwall project, seems to have recruited at least a couple of influential individuals in Brittany. What are our Cornish academics doing to counter this nonsense?

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Electoral performance of regionalist parties and perspectives on regional identity in French regions

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