Christmas comes early in Bangor - in Welsh

IssueDecember 2009 - January 2010
News by Colin Nosworthy

Early Christmas presents from Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, the Welsh Language Society, greeted Bangor shoppers when campaigners gave away free Boots “Advantage” cards in the town on 14 November. Turning Boots’ slogan on its head, the Welsh Language Society’s alternative loyalty cards read: “There are no points whatsoever for using Welsh.”

Boots was also surprised by new Welsh speaking employees, provided by Cymdeithas, who offered a bilingual service.

Chair of the Welsh Language Society Menna Machreth said: “We have tried to persuade these companies to provide a bilingual service, but without success. Direct action is the last step in any campaign we run.”

Around 100 protestors held a rally to support Osian Jones who faces one month imprisonment after campaigning about the lack of Welsh language services provided by major high street stores in North Wales by painting slogans on the shop fronts.

Addressing the protest, Osian Jones said: “All we want is for these big companies to let the Welsh language live. I campaigned against only one or two shops who offer only a superficial service at best.

“It’s not good enough, the government needs to act to secure rights for people in Wales to use the language in their everyday lives.”

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