Why the march for independence in Caernarfon will mean a lot more than you think it will.

If you heard about, read about or even rode along with the Welsh indy wave that was the AUOB (All Under One Banner) march in Cardiff recently, you’ll have surely recognised what a special occasion it was.

Myself turning up early to see a couple of hundred people chatting in the sunshine was, in my head, destined to then be nothing short of an embarrassment for the cause of independence…. until a couple of thousand others joined and scores more along the way too.

It was incredible to think that so many people had already opened their eyes to, at the very least, discussing the notion of ruling our own nation for the first time in 800 years.

And after such a brilliant day, it was only going to ever happen again.

Caernarfon called.

At 1 o’clock on the 27th July 2019, people from Wales and beyond will, once again, march for self-determination and national dignity.

On what promises to be another fantastic occasion there are a few things that, should the day turn out to be as successful as the first march, will perhaps make Caernarfon’s event even more significant.

The word on everyone’s lips – indy supporters and unionist alike – is whether Caernarfon’s march will live up to the undeniable success of Cardiff. Was it just a one-off?

It will, undoubtedly, be a challenge to reach the 3,000-strong (as a few articles estimate) hoard once again.

But estimates aside, from a personal perspective I remember one such moment where I stopped during the event to tie my shoe lace. Upon raising my head after my shoes were back ready to march, I paused and looked for the front of the line. I couldn’t see it. “I must be at the back then!” I thought, turning my head to the right. Nowhere in sight.

It was incredible!

Don’t believe me?

Look, whether there’s 3,000…. 10,000…. or 300 – the march is happening and it will be yet another opportunity to show the world how united Wales has become over the past decade. Linking the nation all under one idea – one banner – has become somewhat of a favoured pastime of us Welsh in recent years and doing something similar in north west Wales will be nothing to be underestimated. With what has been dubbed ‘Europe’s fastest growing independence movement,’ we’re out to normalise the way independence is uttered.

Much like the way wearers of Welsh rugby or Wrecsam football jerseys have to force themselves to be blissfully unaware and/or unnerved by the harbouring of the dreaded ‘three feathers’ on their crests, Clwb Pêl-droed Caernarfon also depict the ancient symbol of subjugation on their breasts.

The town itself is defined by some unionists as a ‘Royal Borough’ or ‘Royal Town,’ hosting the investiture of Charles as Wales’ prince in 1969 to swathes of both supporters and protestors. There can be no denying that royalism (and, to a lesser extent but still significantly, unionism) is more rife here than in most parts of Wales.

It’s not easy to underestimate how huge this march has the potential to be in terms of turning the tides in favour of independence.

In 2014, despite a niche failure overall, Glasgow, [formerly] the British Empire’s Second City became Scotland’s Yes City with over 60% voting for Scotland to pave its own way in the world – the scale of Glasgow’s success just as politically massive as, with a bit of luck, a few thousand people in Caernarfon; the two places having stood as British beacons behind Celtic ‘enemy lines’ for generations and centuries.

Together with Cardiff’s incredible spectacle and three west Wales town councils formally backing the indy discussion recently, success in Caernarfon would only leave the border lands as targets to spread the word of bringing governance closer to home – to the people who call these places their home.

See you in Wrecsam next summer?

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