Former Cymdeithas yr Iaith Chairman, Steffan Cravos, was arrested during a demo of over 150 people in Porthmadog at 2pm today, for sticking posters calling for a New Welsh Language Act on to the windows of supermarket giant Tesco. Cymdeithas yr Iaith held the protest to emphasise the need for a New Welsh Language Act and to make the point that large private companies such as Tesco need to offer a full service through the medium of Welsh.
The demonstrators were addressed by Hywel Griffiths Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg and Gwenno Teifi a Cymdeithas member imprisoned for her part in the Welsh Language Act campaign earlier this week.During the protest, Gwenno Teifi said:"The new coalition government in their One Wales document is committed to a New Welsh Language Act and it is our responsibility in Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg to make sure that it will not be a weak and worthless piece of legislation. One thing we have to ensure is that the new act covers the private sector and that private companies such as Tesco are answerable to the new legislation.""As far as companies such as Tesco are concerned we would expect that staff are allowed to speak Welsh in the workplace, consultations are held with local colleges about the training of bilingual staff, all permanent signs in the shop are bilingual, all promotional literature should be bilingual, Tesco's own products are labelled in both Welsh and English, public messages delivered over their internal tannoy should be bilingual, information relevant to Wales on their web site should be bilingual and every effort should be made to sell local produce in their shops."Hywel Griffiths, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg said:"With a coalition government now in Cardiff bay we have an opportunity at last to secure a Welsh Language Act that can make a real difference to the lives of the people of Wales. We must make sure that the Language Act we have this time is not a weak and irrelevant one, because we are not likely to have another opportunity for further legislation for another generation and by the it will be too late to save our Welsh-speaking communities."Activist arrested over Tesco protest - Daily Post, 16/08/07Language activists ‘held in Tesco protest’ - Western Mail, 16/08/07