Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

Pro-independence march Merthyr Tydfil

Here's a selection of the photos I took on the march last Saturday. It's not altogether easy taking photos with one hand whilst wrangling a flag with the other, but I'm getting better at it. They're just phone photos but other than the lack of zoom, the phone is at least as good as the Canon PowerShot and I wouldn't want to take the DSLR on a protest march.

Here we are all waiting to start.

Waiting to start the march

And here's a Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) out protesting too! The Mari Lwyd is normally only seen around Christmas time and New Year, but she's obviously keep to join the independence campaign. Traditionally, the Mari Lwyd is made from a genuine horse skull, but this one is artificial.

Mari Lwyd

The usual phrase is "Cofiwch Dryweryn" (Remember Treweryn) which was the village that was drowned when the reservoir was created to provide water for Liverpool. The inhabitants were moved elsewhere, but it's been a sore point since it happened in 1965. The "Cofiwch Epynt" placard also refers to land stolen by the English. Next year will be the 80th anniversary of the summer when 219 people had to leave their homes on the Epynt Mountain to make way for what is now the Sennybridge military training range. As Wales tends to be more anti-war than England, it still rankles.

The banner in this photo is that of Owain Glyndwr. Though having said that, I haven't quite sorted out the various banners of the Welsh princes because the lions on this flag have blue claws and tongue and the normal Glyndwr flag has plain lions. More research is required!

Cofiwch Epynt

Here's a "Cofiwch Dryweryn" placard and also a "Merthyr Rising II". Here's a bit about the first Merthyr Rising:
"Throughout May 1831 the coal miners and others who worked for William Crawshay took to the streets of Merthyr Tydfil, calling for reform, protesting against the lowering of their wages and general unemployment. Gradually the protest spread to nearby industrial towns and villages and by the end of May the whole area was in rebellion, and it is believed that for the first time the red flag of revolution was flown as a symbol of workers' revolt."

The name Dic Penderyn on the wall refers to one of the rebel leaders, the only one to be hanged for supposedly stabbing a soldier in the leg. Though it later transpired that he was innocent. The square is named after him.

Merthyr Rising II placard

Scottish independence marches are a sea of blue, so are anti-Brexit marches as most people dress in blue and carry blue EU flags. Welsh independence marches are rather more colourful with flags of red, green and gold.

On the march past Ty Keir Hardie

After the march there were speeches and songs from the balcony.

Listening to the singer

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