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Cymdeithas yr Iaith GymraegDid you know…..

Aberystwyth was the site of the first every protest by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg who were a group set up to protect and fight for the Welsh language.

The first ever protest took place in 1963 at Trefechan Bridge which runs across the River Rheidol at the bottom of Bridge Street in the town centre.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg was formed in 1962 in response to Saunders Lewis’s historic ‘The Fate Of The Language’ radio broadcast which was in turn his response to a 1961 census which showed that only 26% of Welsh residents actually spoke the language.

Since its formation in 1962 the group has seen achieved many things. It has brought about the enactment of two Welsh language acts, the establishment of television channel S4C (so thats who we have to blame for Pobol Y Cwm!) and also the use of bilingual road signs in Wales.

Although the group promotes non violent protest it has seen over 1000 of its voluntary activists in court on various charges, and a number have also served sentences in prison for their cause.

However, whether or not their campaign has been effective remains to be seen, as a survey in 2001 showed that just under 21% of people in Wales spoke Welsh, which highlights a drop of around 1.25% for every decade since the group was founded.

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