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New book celebrates Wales' path to independence!

A new timely book summarizes the journey for Welsh independence, focusing mainly on the last four years, from 2016 to 2020. Annibyniaeth / Independence is a bilingual book by Mari Emlyn. 

By having to postpone this year’s three AUOB marches, many feared that the momentum of the campaign for independence would dwindle. But in reality, Westminster’s chaotic behaviour has put independence firmly back on the agenda, with many who were indy-curious now stating that they are indy-furious. YesCymru attracted 1,321 new members in the month of May 2020 alone even though we were in the middle of a pandemic. In June, a poll showed that 32% of the population would vote for independence – 5% higher than the figure in January.

There are contributions from Siôn Jobbins, Chair of YesCymru, Llywelyn ap Gwilym, Tim Walker and Eddie Butler. Eddie Buttler explains:

My parents came to Wales straight after the Second World War from England. My father, to work in a brand-new factory in Pontypool... My parents’ notion of who they were was forged by the Second World War. At its outset they were teenagers. By its end they were both part of the war effort. My mother served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, the WAAF. She was on duty on the night of the Nuremberg Raid, the RAF’s costliest mission ever. More aircrew died on this one night than in the entire Battle of Britain. The night her twin brother was killed. The war took a toll, but it forged a spirit: of Britain standing united, defiant against a terrifying ideology. The United Kingdom that made my parents proud to call themselves British no longer exists... What good will be coming the way of Wales from Westminster? Crumbs to take the edge off our defiance? But what real good? No good at all. Nothing good can possibly come from it. Nothing.’

Following an open call from Y Lolfa and the author, Mari Emlyn at the beginning of the year, there are contributions from people across Wales and beyond sharing stories of their journey to support independence. Like the inspirational words of Duncan Fisher from Crickhowell:

‘I have lived in Wales for 23 years. We moved here when we had children. I have no Welsh roots. My father was from New Zealand, my mother was German, born in Peru. I was born in the Middle East, while my parents were working at a Palestinian refugee camp. Our daughters have grown up Welsh and as they grew, so did the conversation in our household about Wales. This grew to the point that they proposed going to the Merthyr march. I like marches, so I accepted the invitation. The first speech was this poem by Patrick Jones and read by him. That was it for me, I never looked back! I have been an enthusiastic and active supporter of YesCymru ever since.’

The task of bringing all the contributions together was an enjoyable one for the author, Mari Emlyn. She said:

“One could have concentrated on other periods in the history of the arduous journey towards independence. But in a book of that kind the mood would have been different. This book, despite the strange period in which we presently live, is a joyous one. Independence in the Wales of today is no dour matter.”