19 January 2007

The Ivy: Cofiwn's Symbol of Remembrance.




During my period of self imposed exile in Ireland, I attended the annual Wolfe Tone commemoration and became aware of Irish Republican Commemoration bodies as 'The National Graves Association' and other such which organised events to remember Republican History, Heroes and Martyrs. It was thus in Ireland I first concieved the idea of a Welsh National Commemoration Association later to be renamed 'Cofiwn' at suggestion of Co - Founder, Eurig ap Gwilym.

However, it was not until I returned to Wales and happened to watch a TV drama about the Irish Parliamentarian Parnell that I was made aware that his supporters after his death took to wearing an Ivy Leaf in his rememberance. This got me thinking and looking up 'Ivy' in a book, I discovered it was an ancient Greek 'Symbol of Rememberance'. All this reminded me that Llywelyn's head was ''mockingly'' crowned with Ivy suggested to me that the Ivy was the perfect badge for Cofiwn.

Since Cofiwn has used 'The Ivy' in a number of ways as shown in photo above, the small 'Ivy Crosses'. yes in imitation of the British Legion 'Poppy Crosses' and why not, if ideas are good no matter where from then use them to your own purpose. Cofiwn also encouraged the setting up annually in December 'Cofia 1282 Ivy Cross Rememberance Gardens' as near as possible to the gateways of as many 'Anglo - Norman Castles' in Cymru as is possible, this with exhibition work is what patriots may continue to carry out in the communities today. Of course major 'Cofia 1282 Rememberance Gardens' are annually established in December at important historic sites associated with Llywelyn III as at Cilmeri, Rhosferig and Parc ar Irfon also at Aberedw and Abaty Cwm Hir in Central Cymru. Whilst in Gwynedd such are set up at 'Cofeb 1282' in Caernarfon and at Llys Rhosyr and Aberffraw on Ynys Mon. Hopefully in this year of the 725th anniversary of 1282 a major effort will be made by patriots all over the land to establish such 'Cofia 1282 Rememberance Gardens' in as many communities as possible plus please 'Cofia 1282' Exhibitions in local community centres, Libraries and schools etc. For further advice please contact myself at following Email address: gethin.apgruffydd@ntlworld.com

However, it has been our encouraging of people to wear an 'The Ivy' annually, as from the 1 Rhagfyr to 11 Rhagfyr and for rest of December if wished that has really caught the patriotic imagination. It is not only a good way of expressing sympathy with the memory of the murder of Llywelyn III but when people enquire why 'The Ivy' is worn, it is ''an opening'' for Patriots to inform on 'Hanes 1282'.

To such end, aware as we are of how successful the ''Poppy Appeal'' and 'Rememberance 11 November Sunday' is promoted not least by media people on TV, we have long appealed for 'Media Cymru. Wales' Representatives to do the same. Fair play and credit where credit is due, the only one to ever do so, as far as we are aware is none other than Sian Lloyd. I cannot help but wonder if Sian got so much flack for this from her bosses at S4C that it motivated her to quit and become the most famouse of ''British'' weather girls.

Well we are many years down the road now and despite Sians flirtations with SWS/Stiffyn Parri and that obviosly not so ''Limp Lembit'', I still have a patriotic ''soft spot'' for Sian and wish her well. As after all she did have the patriotic conviction and courage to wear 'The Ivy' whilst others feared to tread that patriot path in our wonderful ''Welsh Media Land''. Right on Sian! Come back all is forgiven! See below what Clive Betts reported and what S4C had to say about Sian Lloyd's ''wee'' patriotic gesture in 2007. Please take note ''Welsh Media People'' whilst you read the below, 2007 is 725th anniversary of the death of LLywelyn ap Gruffyd at Aberedw. Well! this time around, how many of you will dare to wear 'The Ivy' on 11 Rhagfyr as you wear 'The Poppy' on 11 Tachwedd? Inc maybe Huw Edwards up in London, after all he makes good money out of presenting Welsh History Programmes for TV WALES/CYMRU.

Fin! For Now but will be back OK!

Ty Cenedl, Aberystwyth 1983 - 1986.

Tŷ Cenedl 1983 - 86:

Over time, the "Times they were a changing" and continued State harassment was putting incredible strains on the survival of COFIWN and in the end it was decided at a Senedd meeting that the pioneering work of COFIWN as a National Consciousness Movement had been completed to all purposes and that the time was right to pass on the torch of organising Cilmeri to others. Sian Ifan and Gethin ap Gruffydd two chief officers of Cofiwn then went on to founded Ty Cenedl in Aberystwyth. Tŷ Cenedl consisted of an office/workshop located at the Barn Centre in Alexandra Road Aberystwyth and was the power house of COFIWN until its demise. Literature was produced and published at the centre, flags and banners were printed there in abundance (sadly, many of the best, were stolen from there on one occasion) exhibitions were organised there as well as meetings, conferences and talks.

During this period in 1983, Dr Gwynfor Evans worked closely with us to produce a pamphlet on the history of Macsen Wledig, the Romano Cymric leader who had left Wales in the hands of our Cymric leaders towards the end of the 5th century. Gwynfor also suggested to Dafydd Iwan the writting and producing of a song on the subject. This song ‘Yma o Hyd’ is now a well known patriotic anthem in Wales and we are so proud to be able to witness two items of such worth and positivism having transferred from our friendly working relationship with Gwynfor.

During 1985, we organised a week long Welsh Tour for a representative of the 'First Peoples' (native Americans) from our base at Ty Cenedl around Cymru. Picture below shows Mark Banks with Welsh supporters taking break from tour meetings to visit Castell Carreg Cennen.

The First People’s Nation were amidst yet another crisis at the time with 10,000 natives were under threat of eviction off their ancestral lands by a large American Mineral company who were hell bent on mining the land for minerals for profit. We lived with Mark for a week and became very close as we realized how much the Welsh and First People of America had in common in regards to being conquered and deprived of so much of our native land and exploited of our mineral resources. Following on this visit Ty Cenedl published and distributed the following items of publicity in support of the AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT which still to this day continues in struggle on behalf of their people, we suggest you visit their websites. Cultural/Language Activists may find much of great interest and use on America's 'First Peoples' Web sites. Just search web for AIM or by name of 'First People Nations' names as Soiux, Apache, Crow or Commanche et al also take a look at Canadian 'First Nations' web sites, much of interest going on there too.

During the Tŷ Cenedl period, we also realized the need to catalogue all the COFIWN publications, photographs and ephemera which we did to completion and now all this material can be viewed at the National Library of Wales in the Tŷ Cenedl Collection of the Political Archive Department.

More Material on Ty Cenel will be published here in due course.
NB: Pics & Images: G.ap Gruffydd (C) Cofiwn Archive.

16 January 2007

The Great Battle: Gwyl y Cestyll/Festival of Castles.

Gwyl y Cestyll - Festival of Castles
1283 - 1983.

In March 1983, The Welsh Tourist Board – in their wisdom???
Initiated their contribution to the 700th anniversary of the
assassination and execution of our native Princes and leaders
and to our conquest as a nation by declaring a ‘Gwyl y Cestyll 1983’ - a festival to celebrate the symbols of the completion of our
conquest in 1283! Whatever or whoever was behind this initiative, it was rubbing salt in Welsh wounds that have never and will never heal and was insulting to say the least so, COFIWN was impelled to do something about it – and we did. During the ‘Gwyl y Cestyll’ launch weekend, we called a ‘Sarhad 83’ rally in Caernarfon with a number of powerful speakers from a variety of movements. Following the rally, a black coffin representing the death of the Welsh nation was carried to the main castle gate. Right at the last moment, COFIWN’s Press Officer, Siân Ifan, announced over the loudspeaker that COFIWN intended to have a ‘sit down’ in the castle and for everyone to rush in with the coffin.

It was some time before the officials realized what we were up to and many of the COFIWN members and supporters had got in before the main gate was locked – locking tourists inside as well as protesters. The remaining 500 protesters sat around the main gate for the afternoon and delivered speeches. The attack on the castle made the main English TV news that Saturday night much to our suprize!

We had made our point and continued to protest outside Anglo Norman castles throughout 1983.

Patriots are still annually called upon to set up on 11 Rhagfyr Annually ‘1282 Remembrance Gardens’ close to the gateways of the Anglo – Norman Castles in Cymru to remind that such castles were built to conquer Cymru, not least of course that monument to conquest, Castell Caernarfon which in 1911 and 1969 was venue of Investitures of English ''Princes of Wales.
Caernarfon Castle with view of the platform from which the English ''Princes of Wales'' are presented to the
people. Picture shows a statue of Lloyd George who of course invented the idea of an actual Investiture taking place in Wales in 1911. The ground upon which this statue stands, I believe was donated to the English Crown. See two plaques on wall close by, which if I remember correctly state this to be a truth. Pre - 1911, it was intended to place a statue of Owain Glyndwr here but that was not to be.

However, Investitures aside, another one of course is 'on line' at some future date but I doubt if Cadw will be so insensitive again and organise another 'Festival of Castles. Indeed in 2004 when Embassy Glyndwr with Gwynedd Patriots were organising commemoration of Owain Glyndwr rising up his 'Golden Dragon' War banner atop Twt Hill on 2 Tachwedd 1401, the plan was to march from Twt Hill to 'Cofeb 1282' and on to the gates of Caernarfon Castle. We were taken aback when Cadw contacted local organisers and invited them to continue into the Castle to fly 'Baner Glyndwr' from the battlements, at same time Cadw agreed to fly 'Baner Glyndwr' on 16 Medi 'Dydd Glyndwr' at Castell Caernarfon. Following on this Cadw was contacted by Embassy Glyndwr and agreement was reached to fly 'Baneri Glyndwr' on this day at all ''Cadw Castles'' with a flag pole. How good can it get? We shall see, as in 2008 we mark the 725th anniversary of the ending of the war of 1282 - 83 and perhaps appropriate this time around for Cadw to organise the presenting of a "native version" of the years of conquest 1282 - 83 - 84. In this connection I inform Patriots of recent commemorations in America of the Lewis and Clark Expedition 1806, it is interesting to note that organisers approached this historic event as a ‘Commemoration’ and not a ‘Festival’ (see discussions on this, on the web). Further, the commemoration was a dual one with "European America" organising their commemoration whilst ‘First Nation Peoples’ organised their own commemoration with their views on this historic event clearly presented. Sian Ifan of Embassy Glyndwr is proposing to Cadw that to mark the 725th anniversary of 1283, they and other bodies organise with Welsh Communities and Schools etc, that in 2008 the truth of 1282 – 3 – 4 conquest of Cymru is publically presented in a number of interesting ways in both the communities and Castles on Wales. Contact Sian Ifans at Embassy Glyndwr for further information regards this ‘Ysbryd Cofiwn’ Initiative, we also suggest you go search web for the ‘Lewis and Clark Expedition Commemoration 1806’ for a number of excellent ideas and some major initiatives.

Returning to 'Gwyl y Cestyll'83', I to conclude with a collection of news cuttings from that period of a Cofiwn led struggle against yet another insult to the Welsh Nation and People, though I fear far too many then, now and possibly in the future would welcome such insults particularly if they were to come via the foisting upon us again of yet another English Man as 'Prince William of Wales' but that's another matter I will deal with else where.
See Cuttings Copies below:

Summery: This is only a small part of our cuttings collection regards the campaign against 'Gwyl y Cestyll'83, today 'Media Cymru/Wales' would censor such 'Cofiwn Style' nationalist events and activities, this as is so evident in their ''non - reportage'' and ''Stalinisation'' of Embassy Glyndwr particularly by the Western Mail and BBC Wales also since 2004 by 'Y Cymro'. This is easly proved by reference to cuttings collection comparisons. There is no doubt ''Media Wales'' is in pocket of the ''Assembly of Appeasement'' with English Imperialism whilst ''Media Cymru'' has unfortunatly ''accepted'' the ''SAXON SHILLING'' aka 'Grants and other Subsidies'. Trust me, you better believe it?. I would also make contemporary observation and comment, that ''Welsh Nationalism'' has declined so much it is very doubtfull if such a 'Cofiwn Campaign' as mounted against the 'Festival of Castles' could rally as many patriots today as in the period 1982 - 1983. Whose fault is that? is it because the ''times have changed'' or lack of solid deirmined ''Radical Nationalist'' Leadership, Movement and Struggle? Whatever? it will be interesting to see if 3000 patriots will march around Builth Wells to mark in 2007, the 725th Anniversary of the assassination of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd as was the case in 1982 Cofiwn great commemoration gathering. (Details of 2007 commemoration will be posted in this blog in due course.)
NB: Photo Pics are G.ap Gruffydd (C) Cofiwn Archive.


Sul y Blodau 1980: Attempt to destroy Cofiwn.

Sul y Blodau 1980:

In 1979 Meibion Glyndwr began its “Arson War”, in response to the early successes of this secret underground Welsh Resistance Movement the Quisling Establishment in Cymru gave the security services the order to mount an offensive against the Nationalist Movement. COFIWN in particular and it's leadership and members in drew down the wrath of the English establishments Security Services and on ‘Sul y Blodau 1980’, following a COFIWN A.G.M. at Machynlleth, over 60 patriots throughout Wales were dragged out of their beds, arrested and some kept imprisoned at secret locations for a number of days. At least two thirds of those arrested were COFIWN members and supporters. Imagine what the number would have been if the same percentage of population had been arrested in this way in England! A note in passing: The protest singer and politician Dafydd Iwan has written a touching song about the way that these arrests were carried out and homes vandalised in the process.

NB: Further information will be added in time also above will be dealt with in more detail eventually in the Alternative Nationalist Movement and Struggle History Archive Web Site, at moment only in pre – web development. For further information on Meibion Glyndwr I suggest you do a web search for material, some of it for and some against. Of course the big question is: ''Why did M.G's Campaign come to an end?'' Possibly best it did as with the arising age of the CCTV, DNA Forensics and mobile phone tracking plus post Twin Towers ''Terrorism Hysteria'', it is now almost impossible and too dangerous to paint a slogan let alone be involved in any ''militant resistance''. Just as well too as the way forward for future Radical Nationalist Activism must be via means of non - violent direct action, passive resistance and dare I say it, in final recourse ''taking to the streets'' as one witnesses such as Environmentalists in action. Our own ''language patriots'' have set fourth good example of protest and struggle over the years, plus of course I and other 'Patriotic Front' members 'took to the streets' between the years 1967 through to 1969 in protest against the Investiture of that year. Which brings me to 'Gwyl y Cestyll 1983' my next posting to this blog.

11 January 2007

Cofiwn 1282: Rhaglen 1982 - Rhaglen 2007?

Cofiwn 1282: Rhaglen 1982 - Rhaglen 2007?

All pics are (c) Cofiwn Archive.

See Below extract from Brut y Tywysogion:

Palm Sunday begins the war of 1282, surely worth annually commemorating by Fflintshire Patriots and on the correct date for the correct reasons. READ ON:

Note: Mistake in Brut, first entry should read 1282.

Cofiwn on the march in Caerffili 1982 in a contribution to the commemoration of the 700th anniversary of 1282, events were held in a number of communities throughout the land during 1982. See programme for that year below:

Enlarged Programme detail below:

Cofiwn no longer exists to organise similar during 2007 but surely patriots in communities mentioned above could organise much the same themselves, after all it's not that difficult is it? One of the best events organised was the one to mark the 700th anniversary of the Welsh Victory at Battle of Llandeilo on 17 June 1282.

This historic event and a Welsh Victory too should be worth a revisit and as Ystrad Tywi is a stronghold of the ''Knights of St David'' surely they would throw up their charitable riches towards sponsorship of such a worthy commemoration and funding of the CAMBRIA BAND to march down the streets of Llandielo on the 16 or 17 Mehefin 2007. Why not make a weekend of it with visits to ''Carlo's Cottage'' close by at Myddfai via a pint in Llangadog. Continuing on a visit to Llandovery to see the statue there of that other Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Fychan. However, do not forget to visit Dinefewr the Royal Seat of the Princes of Deheubarth, that should interest our ''Royalist Republicans'' of 'Cymru Rydd' and 'Balchder Cymru' (the Politically Challenged). All of course providing great photos for CAMBRIA MAGAZINE whose HQ is not far away at Nant Caredig.

However, to 'Kick off'' 1282 - 2007, 725th anniversary we suggest a commemorative weekend be held with events at Castell Caergwle on 31 Mawrth 2007 and there after annually on that date. This marks the eve of the Welsh preparing for their attack on Castell Penarlag the following day of Palm Sunday 1282, this year falling aptly on 1st Ebrill 2007 - April Fools Day.

Castell Caergwle and Castell Penarlag (Hawarden)

I have had communication from Adam Phillips of 'Balchder Cymru' offering to commemorate the above in association with his Glyndwr event at Hope and Castell Caergwle which I believe he holds in Februry but I have said ''NO THANKS''. I do not believe in messing about with the dates of anniversaries in our history (our people are confused enough has it is). We are commemorating fact that in 1282 Castell Caergwle was in Welsh Hands and that it was on Palm Sunday of that year amidst a raging storm they carried out their attack on Castell Penarlag. This is the history on the Historical Information board at Castell Caergwle clearly states such, in fact there is no mention of Owain Glyndwr here as he did not attack the Castle but rather burnt Hope. Thus, I would suggest to Fflintshire and other Welsh Patriots that it is far more pertinant historically to commemorate the events associated with the 1282 war here, rather than 'Rhyfel Glyndwr'. In past I have supported B.C. event at Hope/Caergwle but not now for reasons stated above plus in agreement with Embassy Glyndwr, it is far better to commemorate also in March the death of Fflintshires great 'Arwr Glyndwr', Hywel Gwynedd at Moel y Gaer on the 6 Mawrth 1406 with proposed commemoration on 10 Mawrth 2007 and then annually. For further details see OWAIN GLYNDWR COMMUNICATES Blog.

Picture here is of Castell Aberystwyth: Following on the succesful Welsh attack on Castell Penarlag, the Cymry of Ceredigion over Easter 1282 took Castell Aberystwyth. Perhaps opportunity for Gwladgarwyr Ceredigion to hold a commemoration, if they do and they send me information I shall post information to this Cofiwn Archive Blog. Well that's it for now, my thanks to Sian for publishing this posting, please note if requiring any further information over the coming weeks please contact Sian at Embassy Glyndwr. Otherwise, I may usually be contacted at gethin.apgruffydd@ntlworld.com

More 1282 - 1982 Ephemera to follow in due course.

NB: Please note that I nor my patriotic work has any association with 'Balchder Cymru', indeed I disassociate myself from that ''body'' completly and totally. Whilst preferring that B.C. refrains from ''hi - jacking'' any events, ideas or initiatives and images etc for their own use, I of course do not seek to hinder their ''members'' from enjoying the history I place before all patriots nor indeed attending events I may be organising but as individuals they would be welcome but not as ''representatives'' of the aforementioned ''Body'' of dubious origins and devious behaviour. As for instance not listing any ''officers'' nor offering any real clarity as to their real object and aims which presents it self as being ''Republican'' but then does nought but commemorate events associated with the ''Welsh Aristocracy''. If you have ever visited the various web sites and blogs of Adam Phillips and 'Balchder Cymru' and do not understand their ''Modus Oprandi'', then indeed you are 'POLITICALLY CHALLENGED' as they are. Republican? Come Of It Adam! further comments on this matter will be posted on my CILMERI'40 COMMEMORATION 2006 blog in a special 'Attenda Feature' in due course. Spread the word, the times they are exciting?

Gethin ap Gruffydd.