This weekend (Saturday 19th April) a massive demonstration is being planned in Naoned/Nantes organised in part by the newly revived Bonnedoù Ruz movement.
The demonstration is one of a series of large demonstrations that have taken place in Breizh over the last year, calling for a range of measures to be implemented, with the last taking place in Montroulez/Morlaix on March 2014 involving 15000 people. On the 19th April the revived Bonnedoù Ruz movement is adding its voice to the call for the reunification of Breizh/Brittany, which forms part of its campaign to implement 11 priorities as follows:
Suppression of the Ecotax – to keep roads toll free in Brittany
Reduction of complex and costly administrative constraints
An end of the so called ‘social dumping’ that Europe is indirectly putting in place
Relocation of decision and economic making powers to Brittany
Breton Reunification with its fifth region and to reinstate a Breton Parliament with true legislative power
Develop an alternative infrastructure and transport system
Re-appropriation by the Bretons of the energy sector, especially renewable energy
Financial relocation – a Breton bank or autonomous investment fund
Official recognition of the Breton culture and languages
Reinforcement of territorial experimentation, dialogue, transparency and the “live together” in Brittany campaign
Create a Breton public media service (TV and Radio)
Other organisations involved in the demonstration on Saturday include Breizh Unvan and Breizh=44.
The demonstrations involve protesters wearing Bonnedoù Ruz (Red Bonnets), reflecting a Breton mass protest movement that has its origins in the seventeenth century, where people wore red bonnets in protest over tax rises on farmers and the lower classes by the French King Louis XIV, to pay for his war with Holland.
The Breizh Branch of the Celtic League have taken an active part in the demonstrations to date and branch members plan to also be involved in the demonstration this weekend. The Kernow Branch, Welsh Branch and International Branch of the Celtic League have issued statements in support of the aims of the demonstrators this weekend. All three statements of support can be found below:
An kesunyans Keltek/Kernow Branch:
“In support of massive demonstrations in Breizh, the latest to be in Nantes on April 19th, may we express complete solidarity with our Breton brothers and sisters in respect of all peaceful demonstrations calling for the reunification of Breizh, proper recognition of the people of Breizh and their Celtic language and increased powers of self determination for the Breton Nation! Six Nations, One Soul!”
Yr Undeb Celtaidd/Welsh Branch:
“The Welsh Branch of the League would like to offer its support for the aims of the demonstrators this weekend. The Welsh and Bretons are from the same family and their fight is our fight. Brittany is an historical territory and its ancient borders should be respected by the French authorities, including the Breton right to self determination. Members of our Branch would like to express our solidarity with our Celtic cousins during this time.”
“Breizh is part of the international community of Celtic nations and territories around the world, which includes those in Patagonia and Nova Scotia. Our members and supporters live across the world from the USA to India to Japan and in expressing our solidarity with protesters in Naoned, Breizh on 19th April we are expressing our solidarity with those around the world who value the right of the Celtic peoples to cultural, linguistic and political freedom.”
An article about the return of the Bonnedoù Ruz can be found in the forthcoming edition of Carn (#158), which details some of the history of the movement and the demonstrations that have taken place in 2013. A continuation of the article will also feature in Carn #159 later on in the year detailing the events that have already taken place in 2014 and those that can be expected.