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How far should language campaigning go?

A Welsh language activist currently stands accused of endangering the lives of children, and causing chaos during a fundraising event. The activist allegedly removed signs and guide posts from a race course running along a mountain in Gwynedd, North Wales, because they were in English.

The race was being held to raise money for a local primary school, and children between the ages of seven and sixteen took part, as well as adults, who ran a longer course. Concerns were raised when none of the participants arrived within the expected times, and crossed the finish line from different directions. The children seemed distressed, but fortunately none of the runners went missing or were hurt. The mountain on which the race took place was misty, and the guide canes laid out by race organisers had been removed. It is lucky that this event ended without casualties, and as Mike Blake, the race’s organiser put it: “We went to the police because what happened was dangerous. If one of the kids had got lost and got injured there would have been a court case.”

Although I’m sure everyone can understand someone taking pride in their language, it is clear that this language campaigner went much too far. Actions like this are harmful to the Welsh-language cause, as they bring unfavourable attention to the campaign. I’m sure that most Welsh-language supporters will agree with me when I say that this is NOT the way to gain support for any campaign.

What do our readers make of all this? Do you think that the media attention the activist got was worth his actions?



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