Thousands join march in Cardiff for Welsh independence

Supporters were asked to bring flags, whistles, drums, and instruments.

Thousands of people have joined a march in Cardiff calling for Welsh independence.

It's the second march to take place in the Welsh capital which is hosted by AUOBCymru (All Under One Banner) and YesCymru.

The march started at 12pm and travelled along Queen Street, St John Street, Working Street, The Hayes, Mill Lane, St Mary's Street, High St, and Duke Street before returning to Windsor Place via Queen Street.

Prior to the march, Harriet Protheroe-Soltani, on behalf of the organisers AUOBCymru, said: "Given the recent UK Government's tax cuts for the rich and continual erosion of workers' rights, it's important - now more than ever - that people come along and demonstrate that we do not trust Westminster to look after the interests of Wales.

Following the march a rally will be held - also in Windsor Place - with speeches and performances by House of the Dragon actor Julian Lewis Jones, actress and novelist Ffion Dafis, former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley, singer Eädyth Crawford and Irish comedian Tadhg Hickey.

Also speaking at the rally is Gwern Gwynfil, the new CEO of YesCymru who have jointly organised the march. He said: "Having just been appointed as YesCymru's first CEO I'm looking forward to a loud and joyful celebration where we can all raise our voices together for independence in Cardiff this Saturday. It is very clear that Westminster will never, can never, put the priorities of Wales first. The only solution for us is to take our own path through independence."

He also said that the independent marches are there for supporters to "come together and remind each other of how much support there is for independence", adding, "it's also so that we can raise our voice, so we can get attention for the independence debate so that we can have interviews like this, so that we can get other people in Wales talking about independence.

"So that those who are open minded about independence see that there's support for independence and start to think about the issues themselves."

Supporters have been asked to bring flags, whistles, drums, and instruments and were urged to plan ahead with industrial action is affecting Transport for Wales train services throughout the day.

House Of The Dragon actor Julian Lewis Jones will be among speakers at the rally.

As well as the march and rally, several fringe events have been organised for the weekend, and an independence gig will be held at the Globe in Cardiff tonight.

Marches have also been held by AUOB in Caernarfon and Merthyr Tydfil, with their first ever march held in Cardiff in May 2019.

Around 8,000 supporters took to the streets during a similar protest held in Wrexham in July this year.

Adam Price MS, leader of Plaid Cymru who are supporting the march, said: “Support for Welsh independence is on the rise, and meanwhile the Tories in Westminster continue to make the case for independence by their very actions.

“As they tank the pound, we march for independence.”

Research published by Plaid on Friday has suggested Welsh independence could be financially viable, with the party calling the paper a “game changer”.

The fiscal gap Wales would face in the early days of independence has previously been estimated at around £13.5 billion, using figures from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS).

But Professor John Doyle of Dublin City University claims the gap could be as low as £2.6bn, around 3.4% of GDP. The average fiscal deficit across all 38 OECD countries was 3.2% in 2019.

Mr Price added: “This research further debunks the argument that Wales is too small and too poor to thrive as an independent nation.”

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said the report “makes some wild predictions”.

A recent YouGov poll done on behalf of ITV Wales and Cardiff University found over a fifth (24%) of Welsh voters would back an independent Wales in a hypothetical referendum.

Over half (52%) said they would vote against it, while 14% said they did not know how they would vote.