Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Bretons that protect their land

Bretons resist the land grab of multinational company VINCI.

First Plogoff now Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

The below is from the Celtic League.
Just days after the Celtic League criticised the lack of accountability of special police in the Celtic countries and we post links showing one such force in action trying to suppress peaceful protest against the construction of a new airport near Nantes in Brittany. 

There is considerable opposition to the site of this airport by local people whose rights are being trampled on. 

In one of the videos we post French Police (CRS) are shown utilising the same brutal tactics we have seen against protesters in other Celtic countries. Indeed the scenes are reminiscent of the treatment of the local community in North Mayo who oppose Shell and have seen similar brutal suppression of their legitimate right to protest. 

The Celtic League will be identifying what practical steps it can take to assist the anti airport protest in Brittany. 

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 

Internet site here and Yahoo news group here.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

A Google map of where Breton is spoken

Lec'hioù ma vez komzet brezhoneg - Google Maps - Ar soñj gant ar gartenn-mañ a zo renabliñ stalioù, embregerezhioù, ti touristed ha kement zo tout e-lec'h ma vez komzet brezhoneg.

The idea of this map is to locate shops, companies, tourist information offices and more where Breton is spoken.  An idea for a language like Cornish which needs to advertise its presence.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Learning Breton

For anybody interested in hearing some spoken Breton (Brezhoneg) then below you'll find a pretty dam good example. 

Breton is the closet relative of the Cornish language and equally shares much with Welsh. I believe 80% of basic vocabulary is shared between Cornish and Breton. 

If you'd like to learn Breton then this blog has plenty of links to useful sites. Of course speaking French will help in accessing the vast majority of learning materials. However, that being said, some organisations have translated their websites into English. Equally, in my experience, the level of spoken English amongst Breton language trainers is above that of the 'French' average.

Finally, if you are an anglophone and you want to learn some Breton don't hesitate to contact me for some advice.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Friday, 3 August 2012

Now that's multicultural for you

Now that's multicultural for you. An interview in a national minority language (Breton) about a traditional music event with a couple of black musicians wiping the floor with the competition in the background. 

Not the kind of thing you'd find on the websites of the various antifascist yet state-nationalist organisations that seem to be two-a-penny in the UK, France, Spain etc. 

In their defence of the old imperialist states - institutionally intolerant of their original national minorities as well as any other minority group that menaces the establishments hold on power - these anti-racist organisations seem at times more part of the problem than any kind of solution.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Breton flag not welcome at the Olympics

It seems the control freaks responsible for security at the Games have decided to ban the national flag of Brittany.

If you are going to the Games consider showing a little solidarity with our sister nation and take along a Gwen ha Du.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Scotland could compete in new Celtic Nations Cup in Brittany

Even if Kernow doesn't get to compete we still a mention: Brittany is one of the six Celtic regions in Western Europe, the others being Scotland, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Cornwall.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Kendal'ch Keltiek Gwengamp 2012 - The International Celtic Congress in Brittany

The International Celtic Congress will hold its anual event in Guingamp Brittany this year. Hope to see some of you there.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Brittany and the English-speaking world

This looks to be of great interest and note that Cornwall is distinguished from the South West of England.  You can also follow the project on Facebook.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The UDB enters Parliament

Great news in from the French parliamentary elections with the victory of Paol Molac, UDB member and chairman of Div Yezh organisation.

Equally the Breton speaking Jean Luc Bleunven (Parti Socialist), who’s children attend Diwan schools, was elected for Brest whilst Jean-Jacques Urvoas (PS) who supports the official recognition of Breton, was elected deputy for Kemper. 

Breton have also gone to Paris to take up roles in the new socialist government. Marylise le Branchu (PS) comes in as Minister for Decentralisation, with the Breton regional president and language supporter, Jean Yves le Drian (PS), in as Minister for Defence. 

Autonomists Femu Corse were unlucky not to win seats with Angelini and Simeoni both coming a close second in Corsica. Alsacian Armand Jung, who has defended 'regional' languages in parliament, returns for Strasbourg. Martinique also returned two independentist deputies, Alfred Marie-Jeanne and Jean Phillippe Nilor. Two of the four seats in on the Island are now held by independentists!  

To give you an idea of the victory from a Cornish perspective imagine if, supported by Labour and the Greens, Dick Coles was elected MP whilst Andrew George was given responsibility for devolution in the UK.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A Breton perspective on English regionalism

Kuitaat lestr ar Rouantelezh-Unanet: an article in Breton about English regionalism from the new site The plan is to publish articles on in French, Breton, English and Gallo.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Agence Bretagne Presse host to the far-right once more

Sadly Agence Bretagne Presse has once more allowed the publication of press releases from the far-right group Jeune Bretagne on its website. For this reason the Breton Connection will no longer be linking to ABP. Jeune Bretagne form part of the Bloc Identitaire a French political party widely classified as being extreme right.

To bad! It seems the lessons of history have not been learned by some Bretons.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A new French approach towards Brittany remains to be seen

Yesterday (15th May 2012) a new French President was inaugurated in Paris, but whether this means a new French approach towards Brittany remains to be seen.

President Hollande has promised Bretons that he is prepared to consider the ratification of the European Charter for Regional and/or Minority Languages and increased powers for the Breton Regional Council, but as yet has made no commitment on whether he would support the reunification of Brittany.

These are some of the promises that have been made by other French politicians of the left before about Brittany, but is there any sign that President Hollande is different?

On the face of it Hollande comes from the same mould as other French politicians from the Jacobin tradition. He is a member of a mainstream political party and a career politician from a middle class Catholic family background. He is a graduate from the famous École Nationale d'Administration, which has given birth to many high flying civil servants and politicians, he is pro-European and of the left wing of the party. Like President Mitterand before him Hollande had some right wing influences in his early days, with his father standing in local elections on the extreme right, but he has in his mature years has developed into a nominal reformer advocate of French institutions.

Again like Mitterrand when he first became President, Hollande similarly knows that he has some way to go to make the Socialist Party popular with French voters and to help ‘unify’ a disaffected and in many ways disjointed French state. With a record number of voters in France voting for the French right wing – including in Brittany – in the first round of the presidential elections, Hollande is under no illusion that his first few months in office will be a difficult time. With legislative elections due in June 2012, Hollande must quickly win back popular acclaim for his party and the confidence of voters in order for the Socialists to stand any hope of making gains in the parliamentary elections. Without a majority in Parliament the new President is unlikely to be able to achieve the popularity for his party that was at one time enjoyed by President Mitterrand. Hollande may have won the Presidency, but it was only by a small margin. As the European media has discussed in recent days, the burden of responsibility has fallen squarely and fully on Hollande's shoulders.

It can be expected that Hollande will have more pressing issues on his mind than the Breton language and regional government. With the Euro currency in free fall and the challenge of trying to persuade a stubborn Angela Merkel to back track on austerity measures put in place with the support of President Sarkozy, it seems unlikely that the President’s attention will turn to Brittany any time soon.

Again Breton’s are in the limbo position that they have been in before – waiting to see if French politicians will deliver on promises made before their election to office. How long the Bretons will have to wait to see if President Hollande will deliver on his promises is anyone’s guess, but if he is going to move in favour of Breton linguistic and democratic rights, it is not likely to be until after the June elections. It may nevertheless be worth people writing to President Hollande before the June elections, asking for confirmation from him that he will act in favour of the Breton cause. 

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. 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.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

How did Brittany vote and what next?

Clearly my contribution (see previous blog) has had the desired effect.

The Parti Socialist, supported by Breton autonomists (UDB) and the Greens (Europe Ecologie), has attracted a large majority of votes in the second round of the French presidential election in Brittany.

François Holland, the new president, has promised to ratify the European charter for minority languages. This would undoubtedly aid the recovery of the Breton language. Equally he has promised to decentralise further powers to Frances administrative regions. Nothing however has been offered with regards the reunification of Nantes and the Loire Atlantique county with the rest of Brittany.

We will wait and see. The promises above are fragile and would be easy enough to renege upon.

The next step will be the legislative elections in June where the French parliament will be chosen. A president without a majority of MP's in parliament would be hamstrung.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Er-maez - a contribution to the presidential election

Er-maez in this context you could roughly translate from Breton as sling your hook.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

75 words for cheese

"A France that can preserve its 400 types of cheese must be able to find a way to safeguard its 75 ‘regional’ languages", said Charles Kergaravat the president of BZH New York at a seminar concerning Frances 'regional' languages at the CUNY University of New York, Saturday 1pm. 

"Une France qui peut préserver ses 400 fromages doit trouver les moyens de sauvegarder ses 75 langues minoritaires", a déclaré Charles Kergaravat, le président de BZH New York au cours d’un séminaire sur les langues 'régionales' de France à la CUNY University de New York, samedi après-midi à 13 heures. 

The Languages of France.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

A new local money in Brittany. Why not in Cornwall?

The Bretons have beaten us to the mark once more with the creation of their first local currency for the city and suburbs of Brest. The new Héol (sun in Breton) will help support local producers and businesses.

For more on alternative currencies watch this video from Bernard Lietaer - Money Diversity:

Monday, 27 February 2012

Some revolutionary songs in Breton, French and English

Sunday, 22 January 2012

In the audience on Bali Breizh

Thursday, 19 January 2012


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