Plaid Ifanc’s 2017 Saint David’s Day message
St David’s Day, our National Day is a day to take stock of our successes as a nation, to remember those who have come before us, and reflect upon the work we still have to do as a national movement in order to advance the cause of Wales. As activists in Plaid Ifanc, it is also a day to be proud of who we are and celebrate together the essence of being Welsh.
2016 was hardly a good year for us as progressive civic nationalists – there were glimmers of hope such as Leanne Wood’s victory in the Rhondda, and the constant growth of Plaid Ifanc as a movement. But the toxic Brexit campaign, filled with elements of the most rancid and racist facets of British imperialism, followed by the unfavourable result to our cause, will have untold effects on Welsh society for some time to come.
All is not lost, and we must continue to consider the positive aspects of being Welsh, the values that our society and our nation have instilled in us, as well as fighting for an independent, tolerant, socially just and cultured society.
The Welsh have given their all to contribute to Britain’s riches – at times, our communities have paid the ultimate price, sending young men and women to fight in unfair, imperial wars. Thousands of people throughout our history have suffered because of the heavy industry which has scarred our landscape, which has made a select few very rich but has the communities of Wales in derelict poverty.
We remember those who have shaped modern Wales; men and women who have given their lives to fight against fascism; trade unionists and workers who have worked tirelessly to build a welfare state that serves our people; language activists in the 1970s who were determined to see the language live; and generations of inspiring nationalists who have refused to see Wales wither away and die.
Our thoughts today are with the millions of women throughout our history who have suffered from sexism and oppression – their bravery has formed the backbone of the nation. We also remember all those who have received abuse because of their sexuality, their race or their religion. Our duty today is to create a tolerant society, where everyone counts.
In the twenty-first century, Wales has changed beyond all understanding. We now have a National Assembly and so many important institutions which define us as a nation.
But our unacceptable levels of poverty and the low quality of our democracy raise barriers to our national progress.
Plaid Cymru Ifanc are determined to build and create a society which is self-confident enough to resist the countless attacks that Wales suffers.
In Plaid Ifanc’s National Conference in Swansea, on the 8th of April, you have the opportunity to shape our vision for a better Wales, and become a part of a movement which refuses to see Wales suffer for longer.
Today is the day to renew our commitment to Wales, by pledging to fight for our freedom. Join us today and fight for a free, socially just and tolerant nation.