Plaid Cymru, the progressive Nationalist Party of Wales hosted a Searchlight Cymru fringe meeting at their spring conference, addressed by Matthew Collins [yesterday].
Searchlight Cymru (previously Wales Friends of Searchlight) enjoys cross-party support in Wales and, the day before, the main parties of Wales agreed once more to back an all-party anti-BNP campaign in the European election. The meeting began with the delegates wishing Matthew a happy birthday in Welsh though he was not willing to divulge his age to the fifty-strong audience!
The meeting was titled “Dirwasgiad a’r bygythiad Ffasgaidd” or for our non-Welsh speaking readers, “Recession and the Fascist Threat”. Plaid Cymru AM Nerys Evans chaired the meeting and called upon all parties of Wales to back the Searchlight Hope not Hate campaign. “We must recognise [the BNP] as a threat that is ever present, and we must remain eternally vigilante, whatever party we support in Wales.”
Martin Shipton of the NUJ, a man who has more than once exposed the BNP in Wales, spoke warmly of his own connections to Searchlight and our publisher Gerry Gable and called upon other journalists working in Wales not to be fooled into filling copy verbatim from BNP press releases.
“As journalists, we must investigate and expose the fascist nature of the BNP when and wherever possible,” he said.
Rob Griffiths, chair of Searchlight Cymru, called upon all those present to make 17 May a Wales against the BNP day. “We may have a good tradition of fighting fascism, but we are not inoculated at birth against it. It is an ever present threat here and they must be driven out.”
Days of action will now take place in Cardiff, Swansea, Wrexham and Newport, as Wales commits itself to remaining Nazi-free.
Hope not hate